The N.C Science Festival – a series of more than 300 science-related events at locations across the state – kicks off this Friday. It’s the third year for the festival, and it's expected to draw more than 200,000 participants. The first event is a stargazing party for all ages at 45 different sites across the state. Triangle-area venues include the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, Marbles Kids Museum and Imax Theater in Raleigh, the Morehead Observatory in Chapel Hill and Jordan Lake in Apex.
The N.C. Science Festival’s goal is to have a science event within a 30-minute ride of every North Carolinian. Festival director Jonathan Frederick says the hundreds of events over the course of the festival's 16-days run range “from science demos at libraries to a robot rumble at a science museum. There are community-wide events like the UNC Science Expo at Chapel Hill. There's maker stuff if you like to do things with your hands. There's high-minded talks and lectures featuring scientists talking about cutting-edge and leading-edge science. So there's great diversity and variety on the calendar.”
Frederick says there are also tours for adults - including science-related beer and wine-tasting tours. A short video montage of last year’s N.C. Science Festival events shows participants of all ages:
Some featured events in the Triangle-area include the Triangle BEST Fest (Biotechnology, Engineering, Science and Technology) at Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences on Saturday; UNC-Chapel Hill’s Science Expo on April 13, an open house event where the public can learn about research happening at the university; and on April 18, a night with celebrity chef Alton Brown at Durham’s Performing Arts Center. Brown hosts the Food Network show “Good Eats.”
“Alton Brown could be the poster boy for the Festival theme, which is ‘Life is your lab,’” says Frederick. “Whether he’s inventing his own kitchen gear or showing you how changes in temperature affect food on a molecular level, Alton Brown is making that connection between science and everyday life.”
A complete listing of events searchable by location, topic, and age range is available on the festival website.