College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Thousands visit Clemson University’s STEAM Exhibit in Artisphere’s 18th year


The thousands of people who visited Clemson University’s STEAM Exhibit May 6-8 found 13 attractions ranging from a concrete 3D printer to a virtual reality deep-sea dive, as Artisphere presented by TD Bank returned to downtown Greenville for its 18th year.

Faculty, students and staff led visitors through 13 attractions in the STEAM Exhibit at Artisphere.

The STEAM Exhibit provides a chance for the public to learn about the intersection of science, technology, engineering, arts and math and interact directly with Clemson faculty, students and staff. The exhibit is a collaboration of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS) and the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities (CAAH).

Many of the activities in the STEAM Exhibit are interactive. Visitors this year, for example, coded robots to draw patterns on sheets of paper, put on virtual reality headsets to simulate a deep-sea dive, used a spinning wheel to mold clay into pieces of pottery and piloted a digital remotely operated vehicle through a coral reef with a video game controller.

The exhibit was set up in a tent next to Grill Marks restaurant at Main and Broad streets on the east end of the festival.

Artisphere, traditionally held Mother’s Day weekend, is one of Greenville’s signature festivals, drawing artists from around the country. The STEAM Exhibit has been a part of Artisphere since 2014.

Visitors to the STEAM Exhibit had a chance to interact directly with faculty, students and staff.

The festival returned to its pre-pandemic size in 2022, with tens of thousands of people gathering on and around Main Street over the weekend.

The chief organizers of the STEAM Exhibit are Brad Putman, associate dean for undergraduate studies in CECAS, and Shannon Robert, professor of theatre in CAAH. Also crucial to the effort was Matthew Leckenbusch, the Clemson director of theatre who staged an opening-night gala for more than 800 VIPs.

Faculty and students from the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science also participated in the STEAM Exhibit.

Kerry Murphy, the president and CEO of Artisphere, said the STEAM Exhibit is a welcome addition to Artisphere.

“The STEAM Exhibit is always such a special part of Artisphere,” she said. “We are glad Clemson was able to return for another year. The large crowds the exhibit draws are a testament to its popularity among our patrons.”

Nicholas Vazsonyi, dean of CAAH, said a dedicated, multidisciplinary group came together to make the STEAM Exhibit possible.

“We thank the many faculty, students and staff who volunteered their time on Mother’s Day weekend to set up the exhibit, greet visitors, guide them through STEAM concepts,” Vazsonyi said. “Their efforts help to spark the inquisitiveness and imagination of countless youths and get them excited about learning.”

Anand Gramopadhye, dean of CECAS, said the STEAM Exhibit is a perennial big hit with Artisphere’s crowds.

“The arts play a major role in introducing young students to STEM, keeping them engaged once they are involved and fostering creativity and innovation,” he said. “We thank Artisphere for having us another year, and we thank our visitors for stopping by. We look forward to seeing you again next year.”

Here are more photos from this year’s exhibit:

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