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April 24, 2024

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Discovery Center’s STEAM Festival Brings Science to Life

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at more than 100 events and activities across the state during the 4th annual Tennessee STEAM Festival, taking place Oct. 9 - 18.

The Tennessee STEAM Festival was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and incorporates outdoor and virtual events hosted by a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. A complete listing of activities is available at

“The Tennessee STEAM Festival will look a little different this year in order to accommodate social distancing, but it still offers Tennesseans fun ways to engage with science, technology, engineering, art and math,” said Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall. “The Festival is focused on promoting lifelong learning and on helping everyone better understand the world around them.

Fourth Annual STEAM Festival Brings Science to Life Across Tennessee |  Business Wire

“We are excited that the Tennessee STEAM Festival is being hosted at several locations in Rutherford County and throughout Tennessee," said Barbara Wolke, senior vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring continues to lead the effort of this fantastic state-wide festival; offering virtual and socially distanced opportunities for everyone.”

Signature events include:

  • The Look of Things Unseen: A transatlantic visual discussion about submicroscopic killers, with Martin Kemp, Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art, University of Oxford, England (virtual)
  • Vaccines in the Time of COVID, with William Schaffner, MD, Vanderbilt University (virtual)
  • From Nothing to Something: The Innovation of Music, National Museum of African American Music, Nashville (virtual)
  • Scarecrow Contest, Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis
  • Pelican Festival, Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville
  • Hispanic Heritage Days, Discovery Center, Murfreesboro
  • Middle School Virtual Science Experiment, Girls Inc. of TN Valley, Oak Ridge
  • and much more!

This year the Festival’s Honorary Chair is William Schaffner, MD, epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University. Schaffner is often seen on national news programs talking about public health issues such as pandemics and the coronavirus.

“As an expert in infectious diseases and preventive medicine, it’s my job to make sure we make good decisions about public health in our communities so that we can all live healthy lives,” Schaffner said. “If you want to become a doctor or any other healthcare professional who helps others stay healthy, I’d encourage you to participate in the Tennessee STEAM Festival and learn how really fun science can be!”

For more information, visit or call (615) 890-2300.

News | Rutherford County Library System

Mission: Trick or Treat

Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to design a safe, socially distanced way to get candy to trick or treaters. Bring your model to any library branch to display OR send us a picture/video of your design. We would love to hear your pitch and/or see a demonstration!

You can bring submissions in to any of our 5 branches: Linebaugh, MGL at Patterson, Smyrna, Eagleville, or the Technogy Engagement Center.

This event begins on October 9th and concludes on October 18th.

Share on social media with #RCLSCHALLENGE so we can see what you come up with!

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.