ST. PETERSBURG, FL – On Saturday, October 21, 2017, crowds arrived from 10 a.m. onwards to expand their minds and appreciate science, that human pursuit responsible for so many advances in society and industry and a source of excitement and wonder to us all.
Mayor Rick Kriseman championed support for science and recognition of its role in our daily lives as he read a proclamation which established October 21st as “Saint Petersburg Science Festival Day” in the city of St. Petersburg. Inhaling alternately from balloons filled with helium (six times lighter than air) and sulfur hexafluoride (six times heavier than air), the mayor read the proclamation in high-pitched and low-pitched voices and at one point equated science to sports, food, and the arts, suggesting a more common celebration of science within our community traditions.
Research and innovation were well represented at booths hosted by various laboratories from the College of Marine Science, as well as by NOAA, the USGS, and Eckerd College. Both research and conservation were well showcased by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute through Marine Quest, the original portion of the festival now celebrating 23 years! Fantastic demonstrations were performed by MOSI and Mad Science and several ways that science is important to society were on display by Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg, Great Explorations, Bay News 9, Duke Energy and many more.
This year, the festival expanded to include Port St. Pete which hosted FIO’s research vessel, the Weatherbird II, and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, the Pelican. Inside the port building, visitors could catch a glimpse of what will be the Marine Exploration Center, opening in 2018. The festival offers a very full day of activities and, thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers, promises to be a success next year, as well. We hope to see you all in 2018.
Written By: Sean Beckwith