The Topeka Science & Tech Fest has been selected to participate in MIT’s Science Festival Accelerator program, which will match sponsorship funds up to $10,000.

The Science Festival Alliance at the MIT Museum encouraged Visit Topeka to apply for the program after hearing of the success of the inaugural event, which drew about 3,000 people to the 700-block of South Kansas Avenue on October 15.

The award includes a matching challenge grant of up to $10,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and $3,000 toward professional development travel, to see other science festivals in action and to attend the International Public Science Events Conference in June.

“We are thrilled to receive this opportunity,” said Rosa Cavazos, Visit Topeka’s director of tourism development. “The matching funds will allow us to grow the Topeka Science & Tech Fest much more quickly.”

Topeka’s festival is one of nine selected in North America to participate in the current class of accelerator events. Visit Topeka and its partners, 712 Innovations and the Ad Astra Kansas Foundation, will collaborate monthly by phone with organizers of other awarded festivals and other Science Festival Alliance members across North America.  

“The educational opportunities will make our festival more robust and even more fun,” Cavazos said. The inaugural festival included stage demonstrations and hands-on activity booths geared toward preschool to middle school-aged children.

The 2017 Topeka Science & Tech Fest will return to South Kansas Avenue on Saturday, October 14. Watch for details at www.VisitTopeka.com/science.

Those interested in discussing sponsorship opportunities, which will be matched by the challenge grant, are asked to call Cavazos at 785.234.1030.