LOS ALAMOS, NM—Aug. 1, 2013—For the 5th year, Los Alamos, New Mexico will spotlight the community’s unique and creative heritage with the “Next Big Idea Festival: A Festival of Discovery, Invention and Innovation” on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. The free, family-friendly event is designed to inspire and educate through science, technology, and arts. Likewise, STEM Student Day on Friday, Sept. 13 stimulates interest among young people about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math with interactive programs.

“What differentiates Los Alamos from other communities is that it is a place of big, world-changing ideas, says Suzette Fox, MainStreet Executive Director. This weekend is designed to educate, illuminate, inspire, and entertain by celebrating discoveries, inventions and innovations in science, technology and the arts.”

The festival features a lineup of fascinating interactive exhibits from exhibitors such as: Los Alamos National Laboratories; Beaver Toyota; Kraz-E-Science; Albuquerque Astronomical Society and, on display for the second year in a row, a “Recycle Fashion Show” at noon that features clothing made by youth from recycled products.

Along with a Robotic Frisbee competition, there will be great food at the event. And live music will be provided by both the Surf Lords and Higher Ground, who will play at the beer and wine garden between 1 and 6 p.m.

A Kid’s Activity Area at the festival will feature hands-on science exhibits, a pet area with micro-chipping available and a ‘kissing booth,’ Beaver Toyota automobile section, electric cars, and many more fascinating demonstrations designed to spark an interest in young people about science, math, technology and engineering.

New this year at the festival, everyone is invited to participate in a scavenger hunt where they will have a chance to win an IPad mini. Please register at the information booth to participate.

Also, guided tours will be offered at no charge of the Smart House across from Fuller Lawn every hour between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Smart House is a project that partners the Department of Utilities, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Los Alamos National Laboratory. It is a demonstration smart home equipped with photovoltaics, a battery, a home energy management system, and smart equipment and appliances for optimized power consumption.

On Sept. 13, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Student Day will showcase three imaginative programs that students, grades seven through 11, will participate in including: “Show Me your Muscle,” “How Cell Phones Work,” and “R2D2 and His Band of Robotic Telescopes.” Students who participate will have a chance to win a Kindle Fire.

Immediately following the STEM event, a local teen band will perform in downtown Los Alamos at 7 p.m.  STEM Student Day takes place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. To register, visit http://nextbigideala.com/stem-student-day.

For more information on the Next Big Idea Festival or STEM Day, visit nextbigideala.com or contact Suzette Fox at suzette(at)losalamos(dot)org or 505-661-4844