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THA adding art component to annual STEM festival

House Herp will offer hands-on reptile experiences at the March 26 festival. (Facebook)

Tucson Hebrew Academy will host its third annual free community STEM ((Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Festival on Sunday, March 26 from 10 am.-2 p.m. At last year’s event, more than 1,500 visitors enjoyed more than 75 interactive exhibits and activities.

This year, an art element is being added to convert STEM to STEAM.

“Art is vital to STEM education because being able to solve real-world problems and build amazing things requires a great deal of creativity. People need to be able to think outside the box in order to find the best solutions to challenges,” says Jennifer Lehrfeld, STEM coordinator and science department head at THA. “In addition, those in professional art careers are also using technology and the scientific process in their own daily work. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

This year’s festival is geared toward families and younger learners. “Children are in awe of the world around them and STEAM is the perfect way to open the door to lifelong inquisitive learning. Visitors at the festival will be given the opportunity to witness amazing science “magic” and interact in ways that they can’t at other festivals,” says Lehrfeld.

The Desert Museum will run two live animal shows and Southern Arizona Rocketry Association will hold a build-and-fly rocketry event so spectators can witness rocket launches all day. Other exhibitors include Physics Bus SW, where visitors can experiment and play with physics and chemistry, and House Herp, offering hands-on reptile fun. Local artists will also be on hand to demonstrate their craft and allow visitors to explore the STEM techniques behind their work.

For more information go to thastem.com/stem-festival or see the Facebook event page at facebook.com/events/1239678989386646.

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