MS Science Fest, MS-FAST Program and Mississippi Community Education Center | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

MS Science Fest, MS-FAST Program and Mississippi Community Education Center

The LeFleur Museum District in Jackson will host its annual Mississippi Science Festival, which C Spire sponsors, from Sept. 19-21. Photo courtesy Mississippi Children's Museum

The LeFleur Museum District in Jackson will host its annual Mississippi Science Festival, which C Spire sponsors, from Sept. 19-21. Photo courtesy Mississippi Children's Museum

The LeFleur Museum District in Jackson will host its annual Mississippi Science Festival, which C Spire sponsors, from Sept. 19-21. Earlier this year, the Mississippi Tourism Association named the MSF as "Small Festival of the Year," and the Southeast Tourism Society named the festival as a "Top 20 Event."

The event will include three days of science exploration and activities, with exhibitors stationed at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, the Mississippi Children's Museum and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, all of which make up the LMD.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, C Spire will host the C3 Jr. Coding Challenge. Fifteen teams of elementary-age students from across the state will gather at the Mississippi Children's Museum to participate. C Spire mentors will guide teams of four fourth-grade students through coding challenges, and there will be an awards ceremony at the end of the event.

Science After 6 will take place on Sept. 19 at Cultivation Food Hall from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 each, and come with one signature cocktail from Gold Coast Bar and Cathead Distillery for visitors age 21 and up.

On Friday, Sept. 20, Field Trip Friday will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The four LMD museums will host a day dedicated to promoting STEM subjects, or science, technology, engineering and math, and increasing science literacy for visiting students. Each location will have hands-on experiments, interactive exhibits and classroom science lessons.

A new event called CSI Mississippi will take place on Friday, Sept. 20, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The free event offers a behind-the-scenes look at the career of Mississippi-based forensic scientist and crime scene investigator George Schiro,, and will take place at the ag museum's Sparkman Auditorium.

The Mississippi Science Fest will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will be able to purchase a $10 ticket that will let them visit and participate in MSF festivities at all four LMD museums, including meeting with STEM professionals, participating in hands-on STEM activities, and exploring experiments and exhibits at all four museums. The LMD will provide a free shuttle between all the museums, and food vendors will be on site throughout the day at each location. To purchase tickets, visit mssciencefest.org.

Discovery Night: Experiment with Us!, a family fundraising event that MCM Partners hosts, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Discovery Night will include food and drinks, musical entertainment with DJ Adam, bounce houses, an obstacle course and a raffle. To purchase tickets, visit mschildrensmuseum.org.

For a full schedule of activities for the festival or to purchase event tickets, visit mssciencefest.org.

Innovate Mississippi MS-FAST Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently gave Jackson-based nonprofit economic-development organization Innovate Mississippi, a a $125,000 grant to help Mississippi companies obtain small-business innovation and technology-transfer research grants, and bring the results of their research to market.

Innovate Mississippi is partnering with the University of Southern Mississippi Business and Innovation Assistance Center to operate a program called the Mississippi - Federal and State Technology Partnership, or MS-FAST, which provides assistance and funding for small businesses to help them commercialize and develop their technologies.

Innovate will use the grant to assist women-owned, rural-based, socially or economically disadvantaged, and other under-represented entrepreneurs and firms in obtaining the grants. After the program begins on Oct. 1, research and development-focused small businesses will be able to apply for funding to help write grant applications, and Innovate will give those companies specialized training, outreach, mentoring and technical assistance.

Innovate Mississippi will provide complete information for companies interested in applying for assistance through its e-newsletter, the release says. Companies can also email [email protected] for information or visit innovate.ms.

Grand Opening For Families First for Mississippi Center in Jackson

The Mississippi Community Education Center and Families First for Mississippi will hold a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for a new center on 750 N. State St. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Families First for Mississippi is a joint program of the nonprofits Mississippi Community Education Center and Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, and promotes education, job readiness and workforce development in the state.

The center will include a simulated financial center, a community library with books for educational and entertainment purposes, a clothing boutique with free clothes, and a farmers market and grocery store that will provide healthy foods and information about nutrition. The center also has a job readiness center and classrooms, and a computer lab for visitors to receive training on existing programs. MCEC's Families First programs also cover family financial stability, early childhood education and literacy, youth development, and development of educational and parenting skills.

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