St. Petersburg Science Festival Comes to USFSP: Offering Hands-On Science for Thousands of Families

Science in the Sun

(Oct. 12, 2017) – The St. Petersburg Science Festival and MarineQuest will offer thousands of families a chance to get their hands-on science on Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 10am – 4pm. USFSP faculty, and scientists throughout the region, will transform the north side of Bayboro Harbor’s waterfront into a fun and engaging science laboratory under the sun. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Activities will be set up at the campus of USF St. Petersburg, Poynter Park, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and the Port of St. Petersburg. The festivals continue to grow and have added NEW exhibits and partners this year, such as the United States Coast Guard and the Marine Exploration Center.

Attendees will experience hands-on activities representing the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics fields (STEAM). Festival attendees can explore NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program (SCaN), use medical technology to check their own vital signs, conduct chemistry experiments, crawl through a full-size Turtle Excluder Device, experience a cryovolcano and wonders of the deep sea, and learn survival skills with Pathfinder Outdoor Education.

More than 1,200 school children will be treated to a sneak peek of the St. Petersburg Science Festival during organized school trips on Friday, October 20. The growing interest in STEAM subjects is exciting to event organizers and our Tampa Bay area residents.

“We are truly excited about the growth of the St. Petersburg Science Festival since it started seven years ago,” said Howard Rutherford, St. Petersburg Science Festival Co-Chair. “Our goal is to build awareness and excitement about the amazing science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics happening right here in St. Petersburg’s Innovation District and throughout the Tampa Bay area.”

“The Innovation District is excited to have the Science Festival and MarineQuest back this year,” said Alison Barlow, director of St. Petersburg’s Innovation District. “This event gives community members a unique insider’s view of the world-class research happening within the District and across the region.”
Science fair participants

The collaboration with MarineQuest provides visitors a larger geographic footprint with more STEAM education for everyone to explore. The two festivals together attracted more than 25,000 attendees in 2016.

“The enthusiasm we see for science is why we started MarineQuest twenty-three years ago, and why we are thrilled to have the added bonus of the St. Petersburg Science Festival,” said Gil McRae, Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Along with hundreds of hands-on activities, the festival stage features live music, shows, and interactive entertainment throughout the day. Entertainers include Mad Science, Giving Tree Music, Funky49, Kidding Around Yoga, and more. And if you get hungry stop by one of St. Pete’s most popular food trucks and other local food vendors for a bite to eat. For more information visit

This year’s Festival sponsors include:

• USF St. Petersburg
• City of St. Petersburg
• Marine Exploration Center
• National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

• Sodexo
• USF College of Marine Science
• Science Festival Alliance
• National Science Foundation
• Duke Energy

• Eckerd College
• Albert Whitted Airport Preservation Society
• Mad Science of Greater Tampa Bay

• St. Petersburg Ocean Team
• Pinellas County School Board

• Jessie Peter Design
• USFSP Environmental Science & Sustainability Club

• Bay News 9
• Tampa Bay Times
• Clear Channel Outdoor
• SMARTS, Inc.

About the St. Petersburg Science Festival
The St. Petersburg Science Festival is a leader in the nationwide movement to increase public engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). The Science Festival encourages youth to develop a passion for science and engineering, through exploration of more than 100 interactive STEAM exhibits and one-on-one conversation with scientists. The St. Petersburg Science Festival is a collaboration of more than 60 leading organizations including university departments, government agencies, and private partners, many of whom are part of the St. Petersburg Ocean Team, a consortium of research organizations that employ more than 1,400 marine scientists in St. Petersburg, Florida. Be sure to tag us in your photos #StPeteSciFest

About MarineQuest
MarineQuest is the award-winning open house of the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. From touch tanks with live critters, to arts and crafts and educational demonstrations, there is something for everyone! See live alligators, speak with some of Florida’s top wildlife researchers, hang with sharks and rays, and learn about fish, manatees, red tide, and more! This will be the 23rd year for this event, and we have got fun down to a science! For more information, please visit or join our Facebook event. Be sure to tag us with #MarineQuest2017 in your photos!