The City of STEM Science Festival got underway Thursday with an opening ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall featuring speeches from Mayor Eric Garcetti and TV personality Bill Nye.

What began as a week-long festival in 2015 has grown into a month-long series of events highlighting the importance of science, engineering, technology and math in the Los Angeles region and to promote STEM among youth, including a “Tech Talk” at UCLA at 2 Thursday afternoon, a March for Science LA Rally & Science Expo in Pershing Square on April 14 and a Women in STEM speakers panel at the Aquarium of the Pacific on April 24.

Nye’s television series, “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” originally ran from 1992 to 1997 on PBS, and the Los Angeles resident’s current show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” has been on Netflix since 2017.

“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.”

Garcetti listed off many important STEM industries and organizations to which the region is connected, including being an early hub for the aerospace industry, home of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and a place where the Port of Los Angeles is working to advance green technologies for the shipping industry.

“This is probably the best science city in the world,” Garcetti said.

The festival is sponsored by Garcetti’s office along with numerous companies and organizations, including SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, USC, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Sierra Club.

A full lineup of the festival’s events can be found at www.cityofstem.org.

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