iMagine Upstate 2016 Celebration

You survived March Madness, now you can spring forward and let your imagination run wild with iMagine Upstate. The downtown Greenville festival on April 2, and affiliated events, highlight the best innovations and let visitors explore the future right here and now. 

This second annual iMagine Upstate Festival is a much bigger event than last year. The science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) festival will be held in the West End of downtown Greenville running from South Main Street to Markley Street. The street will be lined with tented STEAM-centered experiences for students of all ages. The all-day family friendly festival will take place at the Flour Field West End of downtown Greenville. The target audience is K–12 students, educators, young professional and families, who find an interactive, tech-driven “voila experience.”

Contributing organizations include Flour, BOSH, GE, Michelin, Greenville Technical College, Tri-County Technical College, Roper Mountain Science Center, Duke Energy, and SCCMS. The festival’s goal is to create meaningful educational experiences to inspire the next generation of leaders in the Upstate by hosting events during the weeks surrounding the festival.

Together with these partners and more, iMAGINE Upstate will work to educate students, families, and young professionals about the opportunities available in STEAM-related work fields and drive sustainable change in the Upstate educational system by igniting an interest in STEAM programs outside of the classroom, says Sarah Arbogast, event director. The growth of the manufacturing industry is becoming more complex, and the workforce demands a highly skilled and indigenous workforce. Local employers are increasingly placing emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Upstate schools.

In addition to the street experience, the festival features six track experiences, an array of activities that includes virtual reality, electric cars, battling robots, drones, 3D printing and the latest technology from companies across the Upstate. Included also this year is the Zoom through the Zoo 5K. In addition, iMagine Upstate is excited that friends at Comporium in Rock Hill are participants, said Arbogast. Attendees will be able to visit the Comporium team at the festival.

iMAGINE Upstate is a program of South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science (SCCMS) at Clemson University. The organization enhances cultural and economic development by creating meaningful experiences that promote a culture of lifelong learning and professional growth with an emphasis on STEAM, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity in Upstate South Carolina.

Organizers say the program symbolizes the Upstate’s passion for progress and opportunity by exciting curiosity and interest to explore the many ways STEAM enriches lives. Its objectives are to create a collaborative environment that will generate inspiration and enable the “aha” moments that will shape the future workforce in the Upstate, and to create public interest in STEAM, innovation, and creative and entrepreneurial activities. iMAGINE Upstate is sponsored by ScanSource, an international distributor of specialty technology products.

It takes a village to build a community of educational and economic growth and success.

“iMAGINE Upstate is a true festival of ideas—a weeklong series of crowdsourced programs and signature events designed to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders,” said Duke Energy in a news release. Affiliated programs include the Oconee Nuclear Station’s Education Center’s free STEM events and Duke Energy’s Energize Your Mind series at the Imagine World of Energy that showcases hands-on activities sure to stir the interest of youths: robot demonstrations, building solar panels, conducting environmental experiments and, perhaps best of all, making homemade ice cream. Visit the iMagine Upstate calendar for other STEAM events happening in the Upstate.

Photos courtesy of iMagine Upstate. Article by Yvonne Vinson.