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Akron Embraces Its Geeky Side With Nerd's Night Ohio Series


Akron is the former rubber capital of the world, and has staked its claim as the polymer capital, but the Summit County Historical Society is suggesting another claim to fame.

In a truly un-scientific homage to horn-rimmed glasses and pocket protectors, the historical society is naming Akron the nerd capital. And this week, with funding from the Knight Foundation, the society is hosting it’s first Nerd’s Night Out.

Historical Society President and CEO Leianne Heppner is encouraging Akronites to embrace the power of geekdom, “and the truth of the matter is that nerds make things happen,” she says.

Heppner says, instead of a negative, the term 'nerd' credits people who know how to get things done.

“Akron has been blessed with a number of individuals who are extremely focused on their particular subject and excelled at it, so were looking at the concept of nerd as a positive connotation.”

The sold-out event last Wednesday was the first of three evenings planned for this year.  Each evening celebrates a figure from Akron’s past and includes an interactive activity.

An Aug. 3rd event at the Perkins Mansion highlights Akron’s connections to space travel, and another Nerd’s Night Out is scheduled for Oct. 5th.

Jeff St. Clair is the midday host for Ideastream Public Media.