This Year’s Atlanta Science Festival Spotlights Women In The STEM Field

Dr. Meisa Salaita is co-executive director of the Atlanta Science Festival.

Atlanta Science Festival

This year’s Atlanta Science Festival will offer 80+ virtual, self-guided and outdoor events for kids and adults. (Atlanta Science Festival)

The Atlanta Science Festival, our city’s celebration of all things science, runs from March 13-27. Many of this year’s events feature womens’ scientific contributions and voices. Dr. Meisa Salaita is the co-executive director of the ASF, and she joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to discuss this year’s events.

Interview Highlights:

The interconnection of science and the arts:

“I felt that the two are just so intertwined with one another. To solve the big problems of tomorrow involves a massive amount of creativity and scientists doing that every day. Of course, creativity is just so ingrained in the arts. When we’re thinking of the events that we’re hosting, we want to think about how to host them in an extremely creative way to get people’s attention and get people excited about science.”

Showcasing women in the STEM field:

Another area of focus for the festival is honoring women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or in the STEM field. Throughout the month, there will be several performances of “The Shift.” This digital immersive theater experience follows the stories of three female engineers.

“The idea of representation is just so important for us in science. Women and girls are constantly getting messages that make them feel like they don’t belong. And part of that is just the mere fact of always seeing men in these roles, often an old white man in a lab coat. … Engineers are problem solvers, and let me tell you: if there’s anybody that knows how to solve a problem it’s a woman. [Laughs.] I think by showcasing and very specifically selecting women to be in these roles of engineers, I think it’s a deliberate choice to help with that representation.”

List of arts-related events at the Atlanta Science Festival:

  • Atlanta 40 (performance artists involved)
  • ASF Art of Science Contest
  • Completeness (theater)
  • Science Improv (comedy)
  • Science Jazz Hands (comedy)
  • Story Collider (storytelling)
  • Discovery Walks (storytelling)
  • Guthman Musical Instrument Fair (music)
  • The Shift (theater)

You can find the rest of this year’s schedule here.