How it began:

MacDill STEAM Day started six years ago as a way to fill a local need. Every year MacDill receives over 50 requests from school-aged organizations to tour the base. Realizing we needed to fulfill 35-105's "inspire the best and most qualified candidates to serve" while balancing real-world mission requirements, JROTC day was created.

We cleaned out a hangar and invited all of our school-aged tours on a single day. Instead of touring the base, we brought the experts to the students. The first year only five school-aged groups attended and the next year word spread and 11 groups attended. JROTC day continued to grow and we soon chose to expand beyond ROTC programs, sharing the story of our Air Force with the general student population.

Where we are today:

As the needs of our Air Force shift and with innovation at the forefront, JROTC evolved into STEM Day. With displays from not only MacDill but local student innovations and our industry partners, the event connects brainstorming happening in the classroom today to innovations in the military and workplace. Last year we once again revamped and added the arts, creating STEAM day. With every branch of service represented, over 1300 students witnessed how they can shape tomorrow’s military, regardless of their interest area.

This year, MacDill will welcome 2000 students to see firsthand how student innovations, industry partners and military modernization align.

 How to host your own STEAM Day:

Quality over quantity. It is important to start out with a small impactful event, then seek to expand in the years to follow. Whether it’s 20 or 2000 attendees, if done right, your event can spark an innovator for our Air Force. On this page you will find, numerous links to help you start your own STEAM Day.

However, we understand that sometimes it’s best to speak to a human, and we are here to help where we can. You can reach us at 813-828-2217 or email us at


“In a world where far more innovation is happening outside the government than inside of it, connecting to that broader scientific enterprise is absolutely vital to our future. The creativity, initiative and spirit of the American Airmen and American industry must now be leveraged in new domains in more contexts to solve more problems faster.” - Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson