Hands-On Science Showdown Brings Hundreds of Students to a Free Interactive Field Trip in Downtown Pittsburgh

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center and the Association for Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) team up for unique STEAM-based event

PITTSBURGH – Science educators from around the country joined local organizations to offer science demonstrations and activities to hundreds of Pittsburgh-area students at the Hands-On Science Showdown. This one-of-a-kind program was held on the Ninth Street Rachel Carson Bridge Sept. 14, 2022.

“It’s an exciting time to be planning an event or conference in the City of Pittsburgh,” President & CEO Jerad Bachar said. “Through the Hands-On Science Showdown, Pittsburgh has redefined what’s possible in the conference market by breaking down barriers and having conference attendees interact directly with the public, all in the name of science education.”

More than 1,400 science and technology museum professionals were in Pittsburgh for the ASTC annual conference, held this year at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from Sept. 11-15, with many of the organizations participating in the event.

The event featured hands-on demonstrations from leading educators and local organizations, with opportunities to make steamroller prints, take apart electronics and see STEAM-based activities up close. Hundreds of students in grades two through eight attended this free event that was also open to the public.

“We loved introducing memorable and interactive experiences as we welcomed peers from around the globe to Pittsburgh,” said Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “Having conference attendees and local organizations demonstrate spectacular scientific concepts and engage with local students in the most iconic of Pittsburgh locations, one of the three Sister Bridges, allowed us to bring all of these resources together.”

In addition to the hands-on demonstrations, Pittsburgh-based Squonk performed “Hand to Hand,” a humorous, uplifting visual extravaganza propelled by Squonk’s rollicking music. Live science demonstrations were also featured throughout the day from science centers from Columbus, Ohio, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as local organizations such as Moonshot Museum, Allegheny Land Trust and Carnegie Science Center.

“This was a unique event because most international conferences do not engage with the community in such a meaningful way,” said Jason Brown, Henry Buhl, Jr., Director of Carnegie Science Center and Vice President of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “The Science Center shares in the common aspirations that were articulated: building stronger communities, providing equitable access to educational and professional opportunities and bringing hope and optimism for a better future.”

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