Virginia's first science festival is Oct. 4-11 featuring events statewide

"It's a party where the punch is spiked with science"

Roanoke, Va. (Sept. 4, 2014) - Virginia kicks off a science celebration in 30 days with hands-on events for all ages planned throughout the Commonwealth the week of Oct. 4 to 11.

From Buchanan County to Blacksburg, Roanoke to Richmond, and Hampton Roads to Northern Virginia, the first-ever Virginia Science Festival is designed to be "a big party where the punch is spiked with science," says Jim Rollings, executive director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke, which is coordinating the festival in partnership with Virginia Tech.

In support of the festival, the Virginia Tourism Corporation endorsed "Virginia is for Science Lovers."  

A full listing of events can be found at A sample of activities include:

  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science's "Bay Critters Beach Adventure" in Gloucester
  • Alexandria Public Library's "Brain Scavenger Hunt"
  • Jefferson Lab's "Physics Fest" in Newport News
  • Danville Science Center's "Butterfly Goodbye"
  • "Science is Fun" at the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach
  • Science Museum of Virginia's "Rat Basketball" in Richmond

Other organizations joining in the festival include the Virginia Air and Space Center; Virginia Museum of Natural History; Virginia Living Museum; Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; Virginia Museum of Transportation; Radford University; Carilion Clinic; Roanoke City; Taubman Museum of Art; Boy Scouts of America; Virginia Tech's commonwealth campuses; and public libraries in Bedford and Buchanan County.

The festival's two signature events are on Oct. 4 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and Oct. 11 in Roanoke. Each day features more than 80 exhibits, programs and performances celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, or STEAM.

Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands officially opens the festival with Stephen Jurcyzk, director of NASA Langley Research Center, which will be a major exhibitor in both Blacksburg and Roanoke.

The Roanoke festival day also features the inaugural U.S. Pea Shooting Championship; WDBJ7 WeatherFest; and robot demonstrations by VirginiaFIRST Robotics and other organizations.

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine serve as festival honorary chairmen.  

Appalachian Power is the festival's primary corporate sponsor. 

In 2013, the Science Museum of Western Virginia was one of only 12 recipients nationwide chosen by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Science Festival Alliance (SFA) to receive a grant to help bring the festival to life. SFA provides funding via the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which supports science education and economic performance.