Campus & Community

Blast from the Past with Techfest 2011

The Stevens community blasted into the Fall 2011 semester with Techfest. This year was better than ever with a “Back to Techfest” theme, based on the 1985 science-fiction adventure film Back to the Future.

The festival consists of three days ranging from a themed dinner and dance, a concert, and that famous Science Guy many students adored when they were younger.

There was a good turnout at the “Enchantment Under the Sea Dinner and Dance” which had a 50s style twist.  The theme was based off of the dance in “Back to the Future” where Marty’s parents are supposed to have met.   50s cover band The Mallard Drakes played live tunes like “Earth Angel” and “Johnny Be Good.”

A Best Dressed contest was one of the highlights of the night with titles for best male, female, and couple.  The winner of best male, Chris Coppola, a Mechanical Engineering major, actually dressed as Marty McFly.

“Being a huge Back to the Future fan, I was really looking forward to the Steven's version of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance,” says Chris. “When I first heard about it, I said the one thing they have to do is have the band play “Johnny B. Good” and “Earth Angel” or it just wouldn’t be the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.  Sure enough they played those songs and I had a great night.”

Techfest included live music during the “Save the Clock Tower Benefit Concert” featuring Finger Eleven.  SkyThief, Stevens very own band, played a few numbers, followed by Pale who opened for the Canadian rock band Finger Eleven.  The featured band played new songs and then the hits. The encore was their biggest hit "Paralyzer" from the 2007 album.  

“It was an awesome night - very high energy.  We had a great turnout. Between Stevens students and the public, over 300 people came out for the concert,” said Caroline Amaba, Techfest Committee Chair.

Techfest’s finale ended with Bill Nye, famous for being that Science Guy many people adored on the Disney and PBS Kids children's science show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” back in the 90s.  Sponsored by the Stevens Student Government Association, Bill Nye flew all the way from Los Angeles on a mission to talk to Stevens students.

The theater was nearly a full house with a waiting line almost down the entire block.  The room was buzzing with chatter in anticipation for Nye, so much that the audience started clapping before he even came out from behind the curtain.

As the lights dimmed, the noise of the house was extraordinary and Bill Nye walked on stage to a standing ovation.

Nye combined the night with many interesting facts about science, comedy, and motivational speaking.  He said he relates to the Stevens audience. “There is something with engineering when you have that moment when you realize you can control things.”  He went on to tell the audience of the moment he realized he wanted to be an engineer - when he was nine years old.

When asked what he wants Stevens students to get from the night, Nye remarks, “To change the world,” and with his witty sense of humor adds, “and that could take all weekend.”

“But really, I want the students to change the future.  There are seven billion people living on this small planet.  It is easy to get mad at people my age for making a mess, but we really didn’t do it intentionally.  Today more than ever, it is critical for students to learn to do more with less.”