STEM Activities Have Starring Role at Inaugural StarLight Festival

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On May 24th and 25th the StarLight Festival will present an amazing galaxy of STEM activities from robots to rockets to intriguing presentations, the festival will be riddled with engaging STEM-style events. Families with students of all ages are encouraged to attend this free event and to take part in many of the hands-on STEM science activities.

StarLight Festival Big Bear California

The StarLight Festival, A Free Event for the Entire Family!

This is a great opportunity to share science and STEM with families that might not normally experience them together as a family. We would like to show how much fun STEM and the sciences can be...

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – These are the cornerstones of our future, and StarLight Festival organizers have made providing family fun in a STEM-focused environment a priority for their inaugural event.

“This is a great opportunity to share science and STEM with families that might not normally experience them together as a family. We would like to show how much fun STEM and the sciences can be,” said Dr. Mike Reynolds, Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Florida State College and lead organizer of the festival’s STEM Zone.

From robots to rockets to intriguing presentations, the festival will be riddled with engaging STEM-style events. But the main STEM action will be at the heart of the festival in the STEM zone, which will offer a versatile mix of available activities to engage attendees of all ages.

One of the zone’s highlights will be an interactive exhibit titled “Moon Rocks and Meteorites” that offers visitors the chance to view moon rocks that are part of the 842 pounds of lunar material collected by NASA astronauts on the Apollo missions.

Reynolds will be on hand to talk about the samples and his own travels around the world to research meteorites. Exhibit visitors also will have the opportunity to touch rare meteorites, including an impressive 75-pound iron meteorite, a meteorite from the Moon and one from Mars.

Other hands-on activities in the STEM zone include:

  • Saturn and Its Rings: Participants can build and decorate their own model of Saturn complete with rings.
  • Martian Landers: Participants can build their own planetary landers complete with a balloon engine.
  • Environmental Sampling: Visitors to this station will see how environmental scientists sample the Earth’s environment and have an opportunity to try their hand at the profession.
  • Meteroite Hunters: Attendees can learn from the experts about how meteorites are found and then employ those techniques to find their own.
  • Chicken Little: Zone guests will get a crash course in cratering here on Earth and on other rocky worlds. Participants can try to create their own crater as they discover all about meteorite impacts.

National STEM personalities also will be on hand for the event, including solar astronomer Stephen W. Ramsden, who is the founder and director of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project. In addition to lecturing on the Sun, Ramsden will be hosting daily solar observing sessions using high-end telescopes and imaging equipment to give attendees up-close live views of solar flares, sunspots prominences and other magnetic phenomena in three wavelengths of light.

“The festival’s entire concept and intent is to bring together the worlds best STEM providers into one festival so that attendees can have easy access to state-of-the-art astronomy equipment provided, explained and demonstrated by the best minds in the industry,” Ramsden said.

The StarLight Festival is an educational and entertaining event geared towards children, young adults, and families. Held annually, this unique celebration of science and astronomy among an atmosphere of music and art has a mission to proliferate an awareness of and a better understanding of science and astronomy through interactive outreach and hands on experiences.

Debuting on May 24th and 25th, 2014, this is an event open to the public in the Village of Big Bear Lake at the Northwoods Resort & Conference Center. Major manufacturers will exhibit the latest in astronomy and science related gear. There is no charge for admission.

The RTMC Astronomy Expo Team has partnered with StarLight Festival to celebrate it’s 46th Annual Starparty in Big Bear at Camp Oakes. At StarLight Festival, a limited number of complimentary day passes to the RTMC will be given out from the RTMC booth.

The Big Bear Solar Observatory Team joins us with an interpretive center at the festival, and exclusive tours of the observatory. Meet scientists from JPL/NASA, Astronauts, and renowned organizations and individuals in educational public outreach who are there for lectures and demonstrations.

Starlight Festival is hosted by the AstronomyOutreach network, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.


Our mission is to bring awareness and understanding of science and astronomy to the forefront of the general public through outreach and hands on experiences. Our aim is to encourage younger generations to broaden their knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as they relate to astronomy and space science. We encourage incremental learning in these areas to support future scientific contributions and continual enhancements in our lives, society and the world.


Founded in 2000, AstronomyOutreach network promotes and recognizes individuals, and organizations who are Involved in Outreach in Astronomy for the General Public. We are an inclusive organization that welcomes a wide audience devoted to educational and public outreach, whether amateur or professional, commercial or non-profit.

AOn bestows the Annual AstronomyOutreach Awards to Exemplary Individuals and Organizations in Educating the Public. Our free publication, Sky’s Up Magazine, is devoted to Astronomy and Astronomy-Outreach Education. We are a 501c3 Non-Profit Educational Organization, and our membership is complimentary.

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