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Star gazing at Arrington Vineyards, cockpit simulator part of statewide Tennessee STEAM Festival

Star gazing at Arrington Vineyards, cockpit simulator part of statewide Tennessee STEAM Festival

Above, Attendees may get to see the airplane cockpit simulators during the Saturday, Oct. 21, open house at the MTSU Flight Operations Center and Murfreesboro Airport. (MTSU file photo)


From wine tasting and star gazing at Arrington Vineyard to amazin’ milk to fossils on the greenway, schools and departments in the MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences have something for everybody to discover during the first Tennessee STEAM Festival now through Oct. 22.

MTSU’s participation in the statewide event features eight departments and 15 on- and off-campus events. For a list of nearly 90 events, including those involving MTSU, visit

The Tennessee STEAM Festival is a celebration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) across the state. It’s a community festival that will raise awareness and build interest in learning across different ages, neighborhoods and educational levels.

The Murfreesboro-based Discovery Center at Murfree Spring founded the festival.

Tara MacDougall, CEO of the Discovery Center, said the vision for 2017 is to make science learning exciting and accessible for Tennessee residents. A growing national alliance of science festivals includes Alaska, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and others.

Because the potential for job growth in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer is ecstatic because virtually all of his college is on board with participating in these public events.

“There are very few fields that do not need a science background or STEM education,” Fischer said

While most MTSU events are Oct. 16-22, things kicked off this past Thursday and continue into the coming week:

“Savoring the Stars and Wine at Arrington Vineyards” is a main attraction for ages 21 and older from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the vineyard, 6211 Patton Road, in Arrington, Tennessee. The Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Agriculture will have experts helping attendees gain a deeper appreciation of wines and the universe. Limited to 150 adults; reservations required.

A mock forensic DNA fingerprinting investigation, “Drones 101,” “Amazin’ Milk,” a virtual-reality demonstration at Linebaugh Library downtown, an MTSU/Murfreesboro Airport open house and more are a sample of other MTSU offerings.

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