The Celebrate Science Indiana science festival is for all ages and activities will “include robots, drone flying, DNA extraction, the analysis of art works, the taste of popcorn, the growth of plants, and the marvels of skeletons,” says Walter Jessen, Systems Biologist at Covance.
The festival will emphasize the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, careers, and research for Hoosiers and hopes to encourage reduction of the so-called Indiana “brain drain,” that is, people leaving Indiana immediately after graduating from college.
According to the Indiana Business Journal, “Indiana has done a better job than most of keeping its graduates.” Indiana suffers “less of a brain drain than most other states,” says IBJ, “what ails Indiana is the lack of a ‘brain gain’ of educated adults.” The problem isn’t how Indiana educates people or how many people are educated, but Indiana needs more areas where educated people would like to live.
“Another piece of evidence that shows Indiana struggling in the game for educated talent is that per-capita personal income has been on a free-fall versus the rest of the nation for nearly 50 years,” according to IBJ. “Hoosiers now earn an average of 85 cents for every dollar earned by the average American, after having peaked at 100.1 cents in 1965.”
Better pay and better places to live should keep more Hoosier STEM workers from leaving and attract more STEM workers from out of state. It is also important to emphasize the economic value of STEM education, careers, and research for the future of Indiana.
This is among the goals of the Celebrate Science Indiana science festival. “We’ll have 70 exhibitors offering hands-on, interactive science to kids and their families to experience,” says Jessen. “From biology to chemistry to robotics to computer programming, there is something for everyone at Celebrate Science Indiana!”