Thomas Pradel, 3, is dressed as a budding scientist at the EXPO Day of the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. Photo by Chris Stoneal

More than 20,000 local families and students will participate Saturday in the 11th annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering’s Expo Day at Petco Park.

The event kicks off the nine-day festival celebrating the science, technology, engineering, art and math fields. Expo Day attendees will have access to dozens of hands-on educational opportunities such as a demonstration of how fast flu viruses can travel, a graffiti art show, an adult science area for ages 21 and up and an air strike simulator provided by the U.S. Air Force. Local students will also participate in a TedxKids@ElCajon presentation to share their ideas on pressing issues in the STEAM fields.

“The festival aims to engage and encourage kids and adults of all ages and backgrounds, including Pre-K-12 students to become our well-rounded innovators and leaders of tomorrow,” said Sara Pagano, the festival’s managing director. “Every person learns in their own unique way, and it’s crucial that we use all educational approaches, including the arts to guide students in building strong problem-solving skills and cultivating their creativity.”

Expo Day will start at 10 a.m. throughout the park. Admission to the event is free, but residents are encouraged to donate at the festival’s website,, to support STEAM education throughout the San Diego region. The festival will run through March 10 with events around the county.

–City News Service

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