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About the Science Festival Accelerator

The Science Festival Accelerator supports new and emerging science festivals in communities with a relatively small resource base. Exiting festivals serve as leads and mentors to small cohorts of startup festivals and all are selected through a competitive application process. Participating festivals received matching sponsorship funding, professional development resources, and, beginning with the 2019 Accelerator, support in creating a diversity plan and establishing methods for evaluation. Since 20XX, 11 lead festivals have mentored 33 startup festivals, resulting in 31 new public festivals launched since 2018 and two postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, administered by the MIT Museum.

Past Accelerators

2020 Science Festival Accelerator

The third iteration of the Science Festival Accelerator introduced a specific focus on issues of diversity and inclusion. The Accelerator supports new science festivals in communities with a relatively small resource base by pairing startup festivals with established lead festivals as mentors. Four existing festivals, including one Accelerator alumnus, were named as leads and twelve startup festivals joined as mentors. Due to COVID restrictions, two startup festivals decided to postpone indefinitely. Participating festivals received matching sponsorship funding, professional development resources, and support in creating a diversity plan and methods for evaluation. Public festivals launched in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

2019 Science Festival Accelerator

The Science Festival Accelerator supports new science festivals in communities with a relatively small resource base. In its second iteration, three existing festivals were named as leads and nine start-up festivals were selected from a competitive application process. Participating festivals received matching sponsorship funding and professional development resources, culminating in the International Public Science Events Conference in public festivals launched in 2017 and 2018.

20XX Science Festival Accelerator

The Science Festival Accelerator supports new science festivals in communities with a relatively small resource base. In its inaugural iteration, four existing festivals were named as leads and twelve start-up festivals were selected from a competitive application process. Participating festivals received matching sponsorship funding and professional development resources, and public festivals launched in 20XX and 20XX.

Supported by

Science Sandbox logoNational Science Foundation logo