Arizona SciTech Festival Director, Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D., talks to Sonoran Living about the importance of STEM education to the future success of our state. Scroll down to see Dr. Babendure answer viewer questions.

The Arizona SciTech Festival showcases Arizona as a national leader in science, technology and innovation through a series of events taking place this month. Spearheaded by the Arizona Technology Council Foundation in partnership with Arizona State University  and Arizona Science Center, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grass roots collaboration of over 200 organizations in industry, academia, arts, community and K-12, geared to excite and inform Arizonans ages three to 103 about how science, technology and innovation will drive our state for the next 100 years.

The Arizona SciTech Festival is geared to help address Arizona’s education, economic and workforce needs. Arizona’s state and local leaders support this event as a powerful vehicle for leveraging productive synergy among stakeholders in the scientific, educational, and business communities to increase the output of future leaders/innovators in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Furthermore, this festival will create awareness of the strong relationship between Arizona’s strengths in research and technology and the immense potential it offers Arizona in the future.

Science Festivals do for science what film festivals do for films. They offer activities and events that engage, inspire and spark imagination across entire communities. Through diverse programming encompassing practical and hands-on workshops, displays and exhibitions, broadcasts, concerts and plays, site visits and guided walks and tours, Arizonans will develop a first hand understanding of the importance of science and technology in Arizona’s past, present and future. No matter where you are located or who you are – there will be events and activities that will awe and inspire you.

Why is it important to expose Arizona’s children to science and technology? A 10-year employment projection by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that, of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected for 2014, fifteen of them require significant mathematics or science preparation. Ensuring that Arizona students are engaged and excited about Science and Technology will help ensure that more of our kids will be prepared and qualified to do these jobs. This will help to attract much needed businesses to our state as well. So, developing and supporting strong STEM education programs in Arizona will not only have a lasting impact on our students, but will help to secure a stronger future for our state. The festival is only going to continue to grow and because of the festival, Arizona has the potential to be a cultural center in science and technology.

Please visit for more information about the festival and a full listing of events. You can also follow them on Facebook at ArizonaSciTech and Twitter @arizonascitechfest for more information as well as participate in weekly contests and giveaways.