Things to Do at the Atlanta Science Festival

Atlanta Science Festival happens March 22 - March 29.

Things to Do at the Atlanta Science Festival

Even with eight days of events at the Atlanta Science Festival, it’s safe to predict there’ll be only one genetically modified punk rock band: Leucine Zipper and the Zinc Fingers.

The band members, who were “derived” from Tech faculty members Jennifer Leavey (biology), Michael Evans (chemistry), Joe Mendelson (biology), and Amit Reddi (biochemistry), describe themselves as “genetically modified organisms designed to rock.”

In other words, they’re professors dedicated to bringing STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) wider public attention and interest, specifically via catchy science-related rock anthems.

The band's emergence dovetails with the inaugural Atlanta Science Festival, which was founded by Georgia Tech, Emory University, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce in an effort popularize science and engineering in the Atlanta community.

The festival will run March 22–29.

Hosts include partners as diverse as Stone Mountain Park, the Kell Robotics Innovation Center, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Activity sites will be spread across more than 30 metro Atlanta locations.

Those interested in checking out Leucine Zipper and the Zinc Fingers can do so at the festival’s Exploration Expo, to be held March 29 in Building B, Hall 3, of the Georgia World Congress Center, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

10 festival events you won't want to miss:

Group Intelligence - Image courtesy of Atlanta Science Festival
1. Group Intelligence: A Mass mp3 Experience

Saturday, March 22 (4 – 5:30 p.m.) | Piedmont Park | Free but Registration Required

Proving that spontaneous choreographed dance numbers aren't just a flash in the pan, the Mass mp3 Experience invites Atlantans of all ages to experience a real live flash mob: molecular style. Register at


Stone Mountain Park - Image courtesy of Stone Mountain Park
2. Geoscience from GSU at Stone Mountain

Saturday, March 22 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) | Stone Mountain | Free with Parking Fee

Look beyond the ropes course and laser show spectacular to experience a lesser-known side of Stone Mountain Park: the science behind the nature. Geoscientists from Georgia State University invite Atlantans to embark on guided hikes and geocaching tours to better understand the history of the quartz dome for which the park was named.


Tellus Science Museum - Image courtesy of NASA
3. Tellus Solar Observatory Open House
Saturday, March 22 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) | Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville | Free with Admission


Those inspired by the Beatles’ hit song “Here Comes the Sun” should make special note of this solar-centric opportunity. visit the Tellus Observatory to view solar prominences and the sun’s very surface through state-of-the-art telescopes.


Old Apple Laptop
4. Apple Pop-Up Exhibit

Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) | Kings Market Shopping Center | $10 for Adults

The MacBook Pro in a Tech student’s backpack may reflect its owner’s life — his pictures, favorite applications and homework documents — but it has an untold history all its own. Take a journey through the years to understand where Apple Inc. came from and where it’s going.


Robots! - Image courtesy of Kell Robotics Innovation Center
5. Robots! 

Saturday–Friday, March 22-28 (1 – 8 p.m.) | Kell Robotics Innovation Center | Free

Nostalgic for ME 2110 minus the homework and grades? Come explore the Kell Robotics Innovation Center, a training facility for both award-winning competitive robotics teams and all other parties interested in robotics, the latter including students, mentors, and teachers from across the state.


Dork Side - Image courtesy of Pete Ludovice
6. Journey to the Dork Side

Sunday, March 23 (7 – 8:30 p.m.) | Sketchworks Comedy Club | Free

If, when wondering about the identity of a physicist’s favorite food, the answer came to you as “fission chips,” look no further for tailor-made science humor. Stand-up comedy provided by Tech faculty members Pete Ludovice and Lew Lefton, among others.


Story Collider - Image courtesy of Atlanta Science Festival
7. Story Collider

Monday, March 24 (8 – 9:30 p.m.) | New American Shakespeare Tavern | $6

Fans of National Public Radio’s StoryCorps exhibits will appreciate these personal, science-based anecdotes – spun into podcasts for world audiences – that describe “how science made a difference, affected [the speaker], or changed them on a personal and emotional level.”  Tickets at


Science to Farm to Plate - Image courtesy of Gaia Gardens
8. Science to Farm to Plate: A Culinary Farm and Tour Tasting

Tuesday, March 25 (6 – 7:30 p.m.) | Gaia Gardens | $25, Registration Required 

Delve into the heart of a local organic farm, Gaia Gardens, for a tasting experience fusing fresh foods, agricultural sciences, and local farm-to-table dining philosophies. Hors d’oeuvres prepared by Kimball House chefs Phillip Meeker and Jeffrey Wall. Tickets at


Georgia Tech InVenture Prize
9. InVenture Prize Final Round

Wednesday, March 26 (7:30 – 9 p.m.) | Ferst Theater | Free but Registration Required

Cheer for fellow Tech students as they display their entrepreneurial prowess in this innovation competition. Eight teams of finalists will present their inventions before industry experts, with entries ranging from a smart pacifier to a mobile toilet. Awards include a $20,000 cash prize as well as a free U.S. patent filing, valued at $20,000. Tickets at


Contagion - Image courtesy of Warner Brothers
10. Science on the Screen: Contagion

Thursday, March 27 (7 – 10 p.m.) | Emory University, White Hall | Free

Ever wondered what would actually happen to the U.S. populace if a lethal virus were released upon society? Find out how the facts differ from fiction by watching "Contagion" and engaging in a live Q&A session with prominent scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Writer: Elana Burton
Videographer: Nicole Center