Gila Valley Health & STEAM Festival returns this weekend


Contributed Article

THATCHER — Music, health, and science all take place on the campus of Eastern Arizona College this weekend.

The Gila Valley Health and STEAM Festival begins in the Gherald L. Hoopes Jr. Activities Center-Lee Little Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m., with a guest piano recital by Dr. Richard Crosby.

The Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center’s Health and Safety Fair will be held Friday and Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., with health screenings, blood draws and vendor showcases.

Saturday’s activities include the Rock of Ages Run against Type I diabetes at 8 a.m., with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math activities occurring all day Saturday. Visitors to the festival will see a showcase of the technology and innovation now being used in Gila Valley businesses, health services, education, and environmental research and preservation.

As part of the Health and Safety portion of the festival, visitors will get to walk through an inflatable colon as they learn about keeping the body healthy.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy MGRMC: Visitors will be able to walk through a giant inflatable colon.

In addition to the Health and Safety Fair and Art Show that will be going on in the EAC Activities Center, there will be several other activities along the north campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a helicopter, Gila Valley farming technology with small and large tractors, impairment goggles go-kart challenge, DPS rollover simulator, chalk art, hooping, rope bridge, CPR demonstrations, thermite/elephant toothpaste demonstration, knockerballs, the use of a drone for biological research, a trebuchet, 3-D printer demonstrations, laser engraver, virtual welder, green screen video, early childhood lab, solar telescopes, silvering bottles and Christmas ornaments, the art and geometry of hexaflexagons, Lego cars, animals, cartesian divers, finger casting, scientific art, and color coding with ozobots and many others.

The festival continues from 3 to 8 p.m. at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus, which will include FMI/Science City activities in the visitor learning center, a scooter obstacle course, owl pellets dissection, air rockets, RC car racing, telescope stargazing, performances by the Eastern Arizona College Jazz Band and shuttle rides.

Volunteers stationed at each activity will share their own career path and follow up with anyone who wants more information. There will be exciting giveaways, so grab a passport at the information booth on Saturday for a chance to win an Apple iPad, GoPro camera, RC quadcopter drone, VR goggles, Arduino hardware and software circuit board, Snap Circuit Jr. board, RKT stomp rocket, Kinetic sand, medieval catapult, salt water car, model rocket and many other prizes.

For more information visit the website at