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Little Rock AFB preps for STEM festival

Graphic courtesty of 19th Force Support Squadron marketing.

Graphic courtesty of 19th Force Support Squadron marketing.


From voyages into space to helping students solve that one pesky  math problem they’ve been terminally stuck on, careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, fields offer a multitude of educational and career opportunities.

Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, will host the largest STEM festival ever held in Arkansas Oct. 26 for students only followed by a public 2-day event Oct. 27 to 28, 2018, for everyone else to enjoy during the air and space show at Hangar 250, a space as large as five football fields. Admission to the festival and air and space show is free for all attendees.

“The STEM festival is designed to bring educational opportunities to people and show what kind of possibilities are out there,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Castleberry, 19th Civil Engineering Squadron superintendent of operations engineering. “It’s less about having students come out, set up attractions and compete and more about hosting educational and career opportunities for the entire state and the surrounding areas.”

Students wishing to attend the student-only Oct. 26 event are required to be a part of a field trip with their school. Exhibits have a deadline of Sep. 15 to register, while schools have until Oct. 1 through the website (see below).

“Everything here is education based,” Castleberry said. “The cool thing about the STEM community is that it’s here to educate and help out. We’ve had people reach out to us for this because they want to show people how STEM can help them. It’s an opportunity a lot of young people may never get again in their life.”

After the student day, the festival is open to anyone who would like to attend and will have a multitude of different attractions, including: educational robotics exhibit, NASA, electronic vehicle challenge, virtual reality engine and many others.

“We want this to build a network of STEM organizations in the state, who can continue to produce more programming in future statewide festivals,” said Maj. Kyle Sanders, 19th Operations Group STEM festival director. “It’s an investment in Arkansas.”

Team Little Rock members are hosting a STEM festival to invigorate the community and show Arkansans the opportunities in their own backyard.

“Arkansas has an economy that’s reliant on innovation,” Sanders said. “We want to connect students and young people with professionals in STEM fields and increase the talent pool of future scientists and engineers for the good of everyone.”


For more information or to sign up, please visit: https://www.thunderovertherock.com/stem