The geek in all of us gets a pass to go a little crazy starting tomorrow, when the Arizona SciTech Festival kicks off at Arizona Science Center.
The two-month festival offers dozens of workshops, tours, talks, exhibitions, concerts, competitions, plays and other activities around the state, each aiming to get people excited about science and help them understand its place in Arizona’s past, present and future.
And we’re not just talking test tubes and data so advanced your head spins. There are stargazing parties, robotics demonstrations, hikes, and the chance to dig for dinosaur bones or tend a hummingbird garden.
Organized by the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona State University and Arizona Science Center, most of the festival’s 200-plus events are free. More than 40 offerings occur in the East Valley, among them:
Astronomy Night at The Planetarium at MCC: Shows repeat every half hour inside the dome, and telescopes are set up outside for viewing (weather permitting). Details: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. today. The Planetarium at Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Free.
Mesa Takes Flight Festival: The city’s year-long celebration of aviation, aerospace and all things flight-related culminates in this event featuring a play about the Wright brothers, performances by The Blue Bike Kid Show, flight modules, kids activities and paper airplane contests. Details: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 11 and noon to 4 p.m. Feb 12. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Free.
Geeks Night Out: From “Star Trek vs. Star Wars” contests and film screenings to costume contests, a photo booth and gaming in the GameTruck, this is the place to let your inner geek shine. Details: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 16. MADCAP Theaters, 730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. Free.
Chandler’s Science Saturday: Check out displays, demos, workshops and activities from Chandler technology companies, the collaborative workspace Gangplank, and student Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics projects. Details: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 18. Downtown Chandler, along Commonwealth Avenue and at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Free.
Mesa Arts Festival: Numerous attractions include interactive art and tech projects, arts workshops, a 10-foot LEGO structure, a breakdancing painter, a giant sidewalk art installation, and the Architects of Air’s walk-through inflatable structure “Mirazozo.” Details: Noon to 9 p.m. March 9-18. Free admission; $5 for Mirazozo.
Fun events farther afield include a Family Conservation Science Night Feb. 25 at Phoenix Zoo, a Science of Baseball Festival Feb. 25-26 at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall and Ancient Technology Day March 10 at Pueblo Grande Museum.
For information on the Arizona SciTech Festival and its events, call (480) 250-7764 or visit www.azscitechfest.org