“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”


The Starlight Festival is not only focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) but also adds the elements of the Arts and Astronomy (STEAM-Astro). Here are the leaders of the Starlight Festival  STEAM Team:

Starlight Festival's astroSTEM Workshop with Dr. Mike Reynolds

Dr. Mike Reynolds

The Executive Director Emeritus of Chabot Space & Science Center,  Mike Reynolds is a Professor of Astronomy and served as the Dean of Mathematics & Natural Sciences and Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Reynolds is perhaps best known for his astronomy and science education efforts, from the classroom to informal education to astronomy and space exploration outreach. He has received numerous recognition for his work, including the 1986 Florida State Teacher of the Year, and the G. Bruce Blair Medal. Reynolds was also trained as a NASA Astronaut for the Teacher in Space Program.

Mike's astroSTEM Workshop focuses on proven activities that will engage and educate the general public as well as educators for the classroom. These subjects include: Scaling the Solar System; Modeling Eclipses; Phases of the Moon; Meteorites and Meteorwrongs. These are all hands-on activities, based on the latest best practices in astronomy education.

The Wonder of Cryogenics with Fermilab's Mr. Freeze

Mr. Freeze

Jerry Zimmerman “Mr. Freeze” is a Physicist at Fermilab who works on Detectors and Experiments. As a volunteer, he has been doing Cryogenic shows for schools for many years and been the Mr. Freeze of Fermilab since 1997. Zimmerman's Cryogenics demonstrations are literally "Super Cool" and encourages people young and old to develop a deeper interest in science. 

 What is STEAM?

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, and covers some of the most important and challenging aspects of our lives. Science is the method and practice that is part of our everyday life and can be seen in nearly every activity that humans are involved in. Technology has and is developing at a continuously expanding pace into many aspects of our lives. Engineering is the creative application of science and math to develop innovation, design, and construction for materials, structures, devices, machines, electronics, programming, processes, and organizations. Arts are an integral part of the development of each human being. ... The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people. The arts cannot be learned through occasional or random exposure any more than math or science can. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. 

Why Astronomy?

Astronomy is a gateway science that people of all ages and abilities can do. No matter if your interest is casual or serious, participating in astronomy activates the processes of inquiry, exploration, discovery, and learning. Astronomy often gives one a new sense of perspective and ultimately leads to greater scientific literacy. Astronomy is often called the root of science and has been practiced in some form since antiquity. 

Who benefits? 

STEAM and STEM education helps to bridge the ethnic and gender gaps sometimes found society, with initiatives being established to level the playing field and allowing everyone the opportunity to make important contributions to our local and global communities by giving people the understanding of concepts and processes to prepare for the technical and aesthetic challenges of our rapidly changing global society and environment, and to prepare future families for the centuries ahead.