If you weren’t completely satisfied with the Space Needle’s ”galaxy gold” upgrade- the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair’s Next Fifty campaign has also sparked the Next 50 Science and Tech Month.
June is now bursting with science and technology events around the city to keep geeks and entertained. This past Sunday hosted the Seattle Mini Maker Faire- a gathering of technology enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkers, hobbyists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. The Seattle Interactive Media Museum is also hosting several Next 50 Video Arcade hands-on gaming exhibits.
The most vibrant event of the campaign’s science and technology efforts however, is the Seattle Science Festival which kicked off this weekend with a handful of science and technology lectures, workshops, exhibits, tours and events.
On Saturday, the festival hosted ”iFEST” which featured workshops on game development, design, programming and marketing. Microsoft Research showcased a variety of project demos at the event including Beamatron, Holoflector and Illumishare as well as new software Kodu and Cliplets.
Other tech-related Science Festival events later this month include a computer programming symposium led by computer innovators and entrepreneurs Hadi Partovi and Nat Brown, a networking event for women in science and technology, a film in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival about artificial intelligence technology research, and speakers from the gaming industry including Kim Swift of Quantum Conundrum, Marty O’Donnell who developed sound for Halo and Chris Taylor, the CEO of Gas Powered Games at the Science Luminaries event on Gaming.
In addition to providing the city’s techies and science fans with interesting activities, one of the festival’s main goals is to encourage high school and undergraduate students to enter tech careers in Seattle. The University of Washington is offering professor lectures as well as demonstrating computer science, robotics and engineering booths at the festival.
With the local economy so heavily reliant on technology companies, hosting computer-oriented events is a smart move. Companies such as Microsoft (a sponsor of the Next 50 campaign and contributor to the festival), Facebook (which is offering tours of their Seattle office during the festival), and Amazon have all taken on large numbers of recent tech employees as has the startup community. In addition to Facebook’s tours, students and interested techies will also have the opportunity to tour various science and technology organizations in South Lake Union during the month of June.
The Seattle Science festival and the 50th Anniversary Next 50 Science and Tech month in general aims to nurture this demand for programmers, techies and designers by inspiring children and steering student populations towards an interest in these fields.
While catching glimpse of a more strikingly tinted Space Needle on the way to work is a fun way to be reminded of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the city’s business technology economy and communities will surely benefit and grow the most from this burst of tech opportunities and events.
You can find out more about the festival and view its calender at http://seattlesciencefestival.org