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Full STEAM ahead at Panoply

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Area students participate in a STEAM activity at Panoply 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many school systems are increasing their focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education these days.

Organizers of Panoply want to put a little STEAM into STEM, adding a dash of arts education to the mix.

For the 33rd annual event, Huntsville’s largest community arts festival will include eight STEAM interactive exhibits.

At one exhibit called Wonder Vision, festival goers are encouraged to rub a pencil with two Panoply-themed pictures on it between their palms. The movement creates an optical illusion in which the two pictures become one.

Joanna White, marketing manager for the Arts Council, says this is just one example of how art can enhance education.

“These things may be a little boring in school but there’s always an interesting element to them; and there’s always a way to find the new answer, not just the right answer in these fields. That’s what we’re exploring with our STEAM activities,” says White.

Other hands-on opportunities include a Geo Art Lab, a music station and the Discovery Depot.

The depot will feature a variety of interactive activities from around the world.

Festival goers can learn Irish dancing, see how Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated, find out how to spell their name in hieroglyphs and much more.

For a full schedule and listing of STEAM activities, click here.

Panoply hours are Friday, April 24 from 5:00-9:00pm, Saturday, April 25 from 10:00am-9:00pm and Sunday, April 26 from 12:00pm-7:00pm.

As always, children 12 and under are free. Adult admission is $10. There is no additional charge to participate in the STEAM activities.