Archaeologist Jaime Awe kicks off 10-day community festival; other events highlight NAU scientists, artists and educators
Locally known as “The Best 10 Days of the Year,” the Festival of Science continues to be a cornerstone event for the Flagstaff community, with Northern Arizona University playing a key role in the festival’s success.
Now in its 32nd year, the 2021 festival will take place Sept. 17-26, exploring the theme “Stories in Stone.” NAU professor and prominent archaeologist Jaime Awe will kick off the festival by delivering the W. L. Gore & Associates Keynote Presentation, “When Stones Speak: Decoding the Messages Embedded in Ancient Maya Monuments,” from Ardrey Auditorium on Friday, Sept. 17.
Awe will showcase exciting discoveries he and his team have made about life in ancient Maya cities, which were hidden in the jungles of Belize. Through the use of technology revealing buried Maya structures and DNA studies on remains in newly discovered tombs, the team extracted clues about human conditions.
“This year’s Festival of Science, whose theme is Stories in Stone, is a wonderful opportunity for me to share results of my long and ongoing research on Maya civilization, and on the significant information that is encoded in the monuments of the ancient Maya,” Awe said.
Through active participation by NAU scientists, artists and educators, as well as through a robust sponsorship commitment, the university supports the Flagstaff community through the festival in a variety of other ways, including the traditional science-themed ballet presented by NAU’s Community Music and Dance Academy; the VPR Innovation Lecture Series featuring associate professor O’neil Guthrie, assistant professor Emily Cope and associate professor Gerrick Lindberg; campus sky viewing events at the Lutz Observatory; a 3D printing workshop at Cline Library’s MakerLab; and more.
The 2021 festival continues to emphasize hands-on learning, interaction with scientists and opportunities to explore through self-guided tours, socially distanced walks and outdoor activities—including Science in the Park.
“As the longest running festival of its kind in the world, we cannot thank the community enough for the support we receive. Because of you—and because of the rich abundance of scientific inquiry, discovery and creative activity continuously taking place across northern Arizona—we have a wealth of resources that pave the way for a completely free festival with 100 events that welcome everyone in our community,” said Virginia Watahomigie, president of the Festival of Science board.
Celebrate “Stories in Stone” through these events featuring NAU experts as well through a wide variety of other opportunities offered by community partners. For more information, visit the Flagstaff Festival of Science website at Scifest.org. NAU is committed to creating a safe environment for festivalgoers at NAU events. Based on changing CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19, some in-person programs may be altered to align with new guidelines.
Kerry Bennett | Office of the Vice President for Research
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