EXPO DAY 2016. Courtesy of the Biocom Institute

San Diego’s annual EXPO DAY, which draws tens of thousands of families interested in science, technology, engineering and math, is set for March 4 at Petco Park.

The free event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. includes interactive, hands-on STEM exhibits, as well as other activities for budding K-12 science lovers. Last year, more than 24,000 attended EXPO DAY.

EXPO DAY kicks off one of the largest STEM festivals in the United States, with more than 70,000 expected to attend events scheduled throughout San Diego County from March 4 to 12.

A program of the Biocom Institute presented by the Illumina Foundation, the festival aims to encourage and engage children and teenagers in the STEM disciplines to support the San Diego region’s science industry.

This year’s festival includes are series of “STEM In Your Backyard” events around the county.

“As STEM education continues to soar in San Diego, we feel it is important to continue our reach into the neighborhoods by providing family-friendly activities that not only excite the young learners, but also open their eyes to the possibilities right in their own backyards for schooling and career pathways in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Sara Pagano, managing director of the Biocom Institute Festival of Science & Engineering.

“Additionally, we are excited to bring back the 21 and up series in partnership with Fleet Science Center as it was a huge success last year for our young professional crowd all the way through retired STEM enthusiasts, proving that the sparks of science fly at all ages,” said Pagano.

Now in its ninth year, the festival involves hundreds of businesses, corporations, sponsors and nonprofits.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.