Flagstaff Festival of Science to engage participants in thriving STEM community

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Sept. 19, 2019

Nearly 50 years ago, three astronauts embarked on a journey in a rocket that used less technology than what is available in our pockets today. Their footprint on the Moon and history left a legacy to the science community that continues to be felt today, particularly in Flagstaff, where all the astronauts trained before embarking on their missions.

Come celebrate this journey at the Flagstaff Festival of Science and hear astronaut Charlie Duke, the 10th and youngest person to walk on the Moon, as the keynote presenter of this annual event. Although sold out, the speech will be live-streamed on the Flagstaff Festival of Science YouTube channel. 

The festival will include a number of activities throughout Flagstaff that will involve a number of NAU faculty and facilities.

Festivities will begin Sept. 20 in Ardrey Auditorium and conclude Sept. 29 with a stargazing session at the NAU campus observatory. 

NAU will host its annual Science and Engineering Day from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Science and Health building. Come see dueling robots, hissing cockroaches and the latest technological innovations. Free parking is available behind Cline Library. 

Want to gaze into the night sky? The Campus Observatory has multiple opportunities to stargaze from 7:30–10 p.m. nearly every night. Check the schedule of events for details. 

Professor of biological sciences Jut Wynne is hosting an after-school talk for middle and high school students about what scientists are researching on Mars. As we continue our search for life on the red planet, experts believe caves could host microscopic life and potentially shelter humans. Come listen at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 at Lowell Observatory.

Talima Pearson, assistant research professor of biological sciences, explores the microbial world in search of answers as to how our bodies fight pathogens. Come learn about technological advancements that are furthering scientific understanding of the genetic content of bacteria and how it will help us fight diseases that are evading our immune systems, vaccines and treatments. See the event calendar for details. 

The College of Arts and Letters will show “First Man,” a biographical drama that details Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the Moon. Immediately following the film, viewers will engage in a cinematographic discussion. Come watch the memoir of the first man to walk on the Moon at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at Cline Library. 

Flagstaff has been involved in scientific enrichment and advancement since the early 20th century–from the discovery of Pluto to training astronauts for space flight. How is it still involved today? Answers to questions such as this will be answered at an event hosted by the Northern Arizona Planetary Science Alliance Poster Session at the du Bois center.

Director of the Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications Jennifer Martinez will talk about how bacterial cells can be genetically manipulated to create polymers that can perform tasks such as delivering cancer-treating drugs. Her workshop is entitled “Bacteria as Cancer-Fighting Delivery Systems.” See the event calendar for details.

What cool things have you seen in outer space? Planets, moons and spaceships are a few that might come to mind. Cline Library has the tools to make them come to life and you can learn how at their 3-D printing workshop. Expect to learn basics in 3-D modeling and printing all while designing your favorite space object. The session is set to begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 29. 

For more information, visit Flagstaff Festival of Science on Facebook or Instagram.