Starry Night STEAM Festival Returns to Westerville

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On Sunday, April 6, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Westerville Partners for Education (WPE) will host the second annual “Nationwide Children’s Hospital Starry Night” family learning festival at Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Avenue.  The festival will offer the community interactive learning opportunities with experts from Columbus’ premier educational and non-profit organizations.  Geared toward students in preschool through 8th grade and their caregivers and families, the event highlights natural resource conservation with the 2014 event theme, “The World is in Your Hands.”

Generous sponsor support brings diverse exhibitors together under one roof, including the Columbus Astronomical Society, the Westerville Library, the Ohio State University, Otterbein University, Capital University, the Fuse Factory, the Columbus IDEA Foundry, Inniswood Metro Gardens, Dawes Arboretum, and dozens of other organizations.  Activities will spotlight robots, wildlife, origami, LEGOs, music, costumes, rockets, art, bonsai trees, the OSU EcoCar, the Dome Theater planetarium, and much more.

Starry Night 2014 features three special engagements open to all.  At 3:00 p.m. the Ohio State University’s Meteorology Club will present members’ experiences tracking tornados and helping storm-affected communities.  Beginning at 3:30 p.m. the Ohio Wildlife Center will share live animals, and at 4:00 p.m. Dr. Tom Burns, director of the Perkins Observatory, will treat families to his dynamic astronomy presentation.

Attendees can procure food from the Tortilla Street and Short North Bagel Deli food trucks on-site throughout the day.

“The festival’s approach offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on, project-based learning,” says Cherrington Elementary Principal, Andy Heck.  “My students are really looking forward to it.”

Westerville Partners for Education envisions this event as an annual opportunity for families to learn together and to develop relationships with community organizations.  “There are so many innovative and fascinating organizations in the area.  Starry Night allows us to connect them with students and families, to enrich education and expose young people to new combinations of disciplines,” said Amy Raubenolt, Starry Night organizer.  “It’s been exciting and a lot of fun for everyone involved.”

Westerville Partners for Education is a nonprofit organization devoted to enriching student learning across the Westerville City School District through innovative programming, engaging community volunteers in schools, and cultivating partnerships with organizations and businesses in support of education.

For more information about the event, visit