The region is going full-tilt for science education this spring, with the North Carolina Science Festival being staged April 13-29. The statewide event debuted in 2010, with the goal of getting the public more engaged in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
It’s produced by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center; working with corporate and foundation sponsors, the festival will stage hundreds of activities and displays designed to tickle your curiosity. Most events are free and open to the public. While most events are aimed at kids and families, others target adults.
There are headliners, of course.
In the Triangle, the name draw will be Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and regular guest on “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” “An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson” – 7:30 p.m. April 26 in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall – includes “Ten Things Everybody Should Know About the Universe” followed by a Q-and-A session with the audience. Tickets are $18-52.
In Charlotte, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, hosts of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” show, will do a 90-minute program at 2:30 p.m. April 29, at UNC Charlotte’s Halton Arena. Their TV show puts commonly held beliefs to the test with scientific testing – often with humorous debunking. The April 29 event will feature “MythBusters” outtakes with spectacular explosions and other unusual misfires. Tickets start at $28 per person.
From one end of the state to the other, free or low-cost festival activities and events include outdoor nature programs, science-related student competitions, school events, and hands-on programs at public museums and science centers.
Here’s one to think about: The Lenoir Gravity Games (www.ncgravitygames.com). On April 28, middle- and high-school students from 30 Western North Carolina counties will race their custom-built soapbox cars from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the streets of downtown Lenoir.
For complete festival details, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.