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6th Annual Gila Valley health and S.T.E.A.M. Festival coming to EAC’s campuses February 28-29

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6th Annual Gila Valley health and S.T.E.A.M. Festival coming to EAC’s campuses February 28-29

By Submitted Article

Thatcher, Ariz.— Eastern Arizona College (EAC) and The Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC) are teaming up to present the 6th annual Gila Valley Health and STEAM Festival. This expo will include a wide variety of activities showcasing health, science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.

The event will begin at the Eastern Arizona College Discovery Park Campus on Friday, February 28, from 3 – 8 p.m.

Attendees can visit the StarLab Planetarium, dissect owl pellets, watch a “shocking” demonstration, learn about the Gila Watershed Partnership and how plants, insects, and climate affect our area; learn about tree rings and what they tell us about the life of a tree; watch a movie, October Sky, under the stars (participants may want to bring a blanket); enjoy a shuttle ride; and explore the universe through a variety of telescopes.

There will be a variety of vendors providing health information on Saturday, February 29, from 7 a.m. until Noon, including free blood screenings. Hands-on science activities will continue at EAC’s North Campus from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Participants can explore a helicopter, look inside a Humvee, climb on a Cotton Picker, and explore water conservation. The EAC STEM Club has designed a new Trebuchet that they will be demonstrating.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will have a Roll-over simulator to demonstrate the importance of wearing your seat belt.

The EAC Nursing program will see how fast participants can safely transport an injured mannequin to the ambulance with stretcher races.

Science Division faculty will have live animals on hand, teach about the incredible human body, and explore the effects of volume and pressure in gases. There will be 3-D printing, laser engraving, a virtual welder, and robotics to explore. There will also be three Chemistry Magic Shows during the day by the EAC Organic Chemistry class.

Food from local vendors will be available at both locations. There is no charge to the public to attend. The Festival is being brought to the community by a committee consisting of local partners, including EAC, MGRMC, Freeport McMoRan, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Eastern Arizona Science Initiative, the City of Safford, Graham County Electric Cooperative, National Science Foundation, CMI Printing, LifeNet, First Things First, Audiology Inc., Grand Canyon University, Science Foundation of Arizona, PHI Air Medical and the Arizona SciTech Festival. More information about activities and schedules can be found at

Also included as part of the festival is the GO GOLD – Childhood Cancer Awareness Race - Registration will open at 7:30 a.m. at the Layton House on EAC’s Middle Campus (on Church Street). The mile fun run will begin at 8 a.m. with the 5K following at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Layton House on Church Street.

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math held annually in February and March. If you would like more information about the local Festival or the annual health fair, please contact contact Dr. Phil McBride, EAC dean of instruction, at 928-428-8404 or by email at