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Huntsville's annual 'STEAMfest' aims to inspire the next generation of scientists

Alabama Science Festival hosts its third annual 'STEAMfest' to inspire both adults and the next generation.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The world of science is huge and for many kids it's all about finding what intrigues them.

The Alabama Science Festival hosted their third annual 'STEAMfest' in Huntsville,  sparking curiosity in the next generation.

Kathryn McCown and Joe Iacuzzo are the founders and directors of the festival.

"If you can think it or dream it, in science, it's probably here today," McCown said.

Iacuzzo added, "the whole purpose is to meet people here who can talk to you about how much fun it is and the opportunities, the endless opportunities that a STEM education can give you."

They aim to inspire both adults and the next generation through celebration of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, hence the name 'STEAMfest.'

"It's really the community that's supporting us. It's the companies, the people, the volunteers….They have all been fantastic and giving. They all want to be a part of our mission of showcasing what a stem education and stem learning can offer to anybody, not just young people," Iacuzzo said.

Marilene van Beek, the event producer for the Alabama Science Festival, said, "there's so many jobs out there as well. And to be introduced to them at a young age, they can guide them through college, which path they want to go and see what they really like and what they're passionate about."

Speaking of passions, a local all-girls robotics team, called the 'Nerdettes' are working to get more girls involved in stem. 

Emily King, a member of the Nerdettes, shared, "we've been competing as an FTC team for about four years now, and just this past year we got to advance to world competition in Houston, Texas, and compete with 160 other teams from around the world." 

Megan Quinn, another member of the Nerdettes, said, "I feel like robotics has really helped me to just get out there and to see what all parts of STEM there are. So I would have never gotten to experience mechanical, which I probably will be experiencing a lot in my future. But I would have never gotten to experience that without robotics."

STEAMfest explores many different types of science such as: marine life, dinosaurs, photography, archeology. 

And of course, while hosted here in the Rocket City, they can't forget about space. 

Retiree's of Marshall Space Flight Center join forces with the youth who will eventually lead the way toward new discoveries.

"There are people there who built the space shuttle and designed it, and it's just incredible to come in there to talk to you, to share their knowledge, their history. And that's something that should never be lost," Iacuzzo said.

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