Our Guide to STEMFest 2018

So, what is STEMFest and what does STEM mean anyway?

First of all, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, with an A thrown in occasionally for the Arts (which makes it STEAM). STEMFest is a huge celebration of all of those disciplines, promoted by a large group of organizations from businesses, post-secondary institutions, not-for-profits, and government. Together, they make STEMFest into a pretty exciting annual event.

Is it just for people who work in those fields?

Absolutely not. It’s for pretty much everyone who has even the vaguest interest in any one of those things. It’s for young people who maybe need an experience to spark their interest in a STEM profession. It’s for people who really want to understand science, but want it presented in an entertaining way. It’s for fans of quirks and quarks and robots and big data, who are still dazzled by the night sky. It’s for fans of Jay Ingram, too. It’s probably for you, actually.

What happens at STEMFest, and how much does it cost?

This is one of the best things: it’s packed with free and very reasonably priced public events, workshops and competitions. Here are just a few.

Science Slam: Billed as an epic science showdown! Scientists have five minutes to present on any science topic without the use of a projector or slides. It’s going to be a fierce competition, judged by a panel of local scientists and entertainers. Because yes, big points for being engaging and entertaining.


The Engineering Olympics: An interactive, problem-solving challenge for students in grades 4-9. There’s a cost to register your team, but spectators are welcome. An opportunity for kids to discover the fun side of engineering, and work on their team-building skills at the same time.


Public Talk with Jay Ingram (Daily Planet, Quirks and Quarks): Ingram’s topic is Can We Live 200 Years? He’ll be discussing aging, and the possibility and consequences of pushing the boundaries on human life. This is a free event, but score those tickets early, he’s a popular guy.


Movie Night: A screening of Dream Big: Engineering Our World at the Convention Centre. A short documentary about human ingenuity and engineering marvels, narrated by Jeff Bridges. (With a score of 100% on the Tomatometer, incidentally.) Tickets are free, but limited, so book ahead.


 So when is this all happening, and how do I find out more?

STEMFest starts on Saturday, November 3rd, and runs right through the 10th, with plenty to see and do. Did we mention the schedule is packed? You can check out their website for more info and a complete schedule, or go to our event listings for the highlights. Just make sure you GO, and take some curious friends along too. Having fun and learning something at the same time is always a big win.

And while you’re here, thinking about science…

The CAN-CWiC 2018 computing conference for Canadian women in technology is in Halifax this year, on November 2nd and 3rd, and is a natural fit with STEMFest. Inspiring more women and girls to enter STEM fields benefits everyone, and it’s open to female students, faculty and industry professionals, for networking, learning and mentoring. Find out more on their website.


STEMFest 2018 runs from November 3-10, with events at various locations in downtown Halifax, including the Halifax Convention Centre, Discovery Centre, and Dalhousie University. Head to their website for all the details, and reserve tickets here.

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