A month-long citywide science festival with a focus on the future got underway on Thursday. Speeches by TV personality Bill Nye and Mayor Eric Garcetti helped open the event that is bringing companies like SpaceX and Northrup Grumman together with students and educators.
"This is probably the best science city in the world," Mayor Garcetti told the excited group of future scientists and engineers.
The festival began as a week-long event back in 2015 and has since expanded into a series of events that highlight the importance of science, engineering, technology and math education in the Los Angeles region. TV personality Bill Nye told the crowd on Thursday that science, engineering, techology and math education is central to creating the next great era in Los Angeles.
"We have almost 750,000 students in our schools, so providing them with what they need is not only a great responsibility, I view it as a great opportunity," Nye said.
Nye became well-known as an enthusiastic advocate for science and education with his series "Bill Nye the Science Guy" that originally ran on PBS from 1992 to 1997. The TV scientist's current show, "Bill Nye Saves the World," is currently airing on Netflix.
“It’s been said that all politics is local, but so is all education,” Nye said. “I see Los Angeles standing on the threshold of a great future. By providing the best science, technology, engineering and math education to our students, right here, we can ensure that Los Angeles not only offers a better quality of life for all of us, but also for the entire world.”
The festival has been sponsored by the Mayor of L.A.'s office along with several corporations who base their operations in the L.A. region, including SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, USC, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles county, and the Sierra Club.
The City of STEM festival runs through April and will have events scattered all around the city.
"It's not just to produce well-rounded thoughtful graduates able to understand the world around them so that they become productive and informed voters. That's easy enough. It's about the well-being and quality of life for each and every one of us."
Nye ended his speech with a bit of encouragement for all the future scientists in the crowd.
"And our students will leave the world better than they found it. So get to work people!"