History of the El Paso Space Festival
On Saturday, September 29th, 2018, El Paso celebrated its first Space Festival with over 500 attendees, 10 Earth and Space Activities, 10 local space organizations, and a local astronaut! This was never our intention!
What started as a simple plan to host a science event for 100 children from local child crisis centers at the neighborhood Elks Lodge 187 quickly got out of hand…in a great way. The concept for a space event arose during an unrelated discussion between the Insights El Paso Science Center and the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 187. We realized that a simple combination of Boy Scout volunteers, NISE Network Earth & Space activities, and Elks Lodge venue would provide an ideal setting to host a small space event.
Discussing these plans with various stakeholders, we realized that there was a tremendous amount of public interested in a space festival. Inspired by local interest and the success of the Las Cruces Space Festival (40 miles to our North) we began working to improve the educational scope and accessibility of the El Paso Space Festival. With growing community support, we were able expand the festival scope to include: 1-hour Q&A session and group photo with NASA astronaut Danny Olivas, 95 Festival Volunteers, 200 pounds of donated NASA printed educational materials, 15+ Volunteer science and math teachers operating 10 National Informal Science Education (NISE) Network Earth & Space activities and 16 exhibitors providing 9 additional hands-on space activities.