Inaugural Macon STEM Festival to Provide Free, Hands-on Activities for Local Families

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Mercer University faculty members Dr. Sabrina Walthall, Dr. Monique Smith-Davis and Dr. Justin Ballenger helped develop the inaugural Macon STEM Festival, which will be held March 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., on the campus of Central Georgia Technical College.
“The Macon STEM Festival is a family celebration of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dr. Ballenger, assistant professor of STEM education in Mercer’s College of Education. “The festival will be a highly visible outdoor and indoor event that will provide opportunity for engagement and exchange between children, teens, families and local STEM professionals.”
The festival will take place at Titans Arena, located at 1780 Anthony Rd., and will feature more than 40 exhibitors with hands-on activities, live stage performances, interactive demonstrations and family-oriented STEM entertainment.
“The festival is designed with accessibility in mind so that all families will be able to attend and have a spectacular experience. There will be sensory-friendly classroom space for the comfort and safety of autistic attendees,” said Dr. Smith-Davis, professor of family medicine in the School of Medicine.
The Macon STEM Festival is an initiative of Real IMPACT Center Inc. and is managed by Executive Director Geneva West and a team of community volunteers. Organizers hope to attract more than 1,500 attendees to the inaugural event.
“We welcome additional collaborators and sponsors to help ensure the sustainability of this event for the community for years to come,” said Dr. Walthall, associate professor of science in Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement and board president for Real IMPACT Center.
Real I.M.P.A.C.T Center Inc.’s mission is to provide youth with support in academics and prevention services in order to develop Intelligent and Motivated People to Actively Change the Times through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and literacy focus.