Nerd Culture

10 Nerdy Events in Metro Phoenix During March 2017

See paleoanthropologist Lee Berger of Wits University speak at Mesa Arts Center, and nine other nerdy things to do in March.
See paleoanthropologist Lee Berger of Wits University speak at Mesa Arts Center, and nine other nerdy things to do in March. Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Damn, it feels good to be a nerd.

The Phoenix area and other parts of Arizona often reward such brainiacs with events and activities each month, and this March is no exception. From STEAM themed to steampunk, paleoanthropologists to punk legend Henry Rollins, it’s a banner month for Valley geeks.

click to enlarge
"Planet Shark: Predator or Prey" is happening all March at the Arizona Science Center.
"Planet Shark"
Quite possibly bigger than Shark Week is the "Planet Shark: Predator or Prey" exhibit at Arizona Science Center. It uses SENSORY4 Technology to pair audiences with a multi-sensory gallery experience focusing on one major badass: the shark. Walk through millions of years of evolution, check out real teeth and jaws, and learn about how this awesome predator could be pushed to extinction. The exhibit is on view in the Sybil B. Harrington Galleries area through May 29 – meaning it’s there every day in March. Tickets are $11.95 for adults, in addition to regular $18 admission. Visit the ACS website for more information.

click to enlarge
Courtesy of the City of Tempe
Geeks' Night Out
The sixth annual Geeks Night Out festival is a collection of STEAM-themed booths hosted by the City of Tempe, Tempe History Museum, Tempe Public Library, and Tempe Opportunities group. Booths have everything on display from solar-powered vehicles and robotics to liquid nitrogen demonstrations and classic science experiments. There’s also a costume parade for the big day, which runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday March 2, at the Tempe Community Complex. Call 480-350-5209 or see the City of Tempe event page.

click to enlarge
Courtesy of Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention
Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention
Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention 6 offers a packed schedule between March 3 and 5. Lovecraft lovers can put on their best corsets and dress vests for concerts, more than 60 vendors, more than 80 panels and workshops, celebrity guests (including Sam Jones, a.k.a. Flash Gordon), a steampunk fashion show, and rides. And whether or not you discuss politics in public, be prepared to hear about Cthulhu’s current campaign for the presidency. The Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention is in Old Tucson. Tickets range from $20 for absinthe tastings to $215 for the all-in Aristocrat Pass. Visit the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention website for more information.

click to enlarge
Courtesy Museum of Walking and Angela Ellsworth
"Walking and Thinking and Walking"
The Tempe-based Museum of Walking is heading over to the ASU Art Museum’s Project Space to present the exhibition "Walking and Thinking and Walking" from March 3 through May 6. Works from artists and scholars like Marina Ambramovic and Rebecca Solnit will be featured as mimeographed pieces, all curated by Bruce Ferguson. The show is part of projectWALK, “which investigates the everyday activity of walking in one of the least walkable cities in the United States." The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Project Space is open First and Third Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., and additional hours are available by appointment. Visit the Project Space at Combine Studios website or call 480-965-2787.

click to enlarge
Brandi Porter
"Govt 101: How to Make a Downtown"
Valley Bar hosts" GOVT 101: How to Make a Downtown – Density, Arts, GPLETs, and More." It's an assembly of city officials and political operatives who are ready discuss questions like, “What is the best way to foster the growth of downtown Phoenix?” and “Why is density so important?” The panel features Downtown Phoenix Partnership executive director Dan Klocke, Michael Levine of Levine Machine, and Jeff Sherman from Downtown Voices Coalition from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Call 602-368-3121 or see the Valley Bar website.

Read on for details on VE Schwab's book-signing, a Henry Rollins appearance, and a festival dedicated to everyone's favorite detective.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.