N.C. Science Festival Offers Hands-On Learning
The 2013 N.C. Science Festival features events all over the state April 5-21. Below are several of the local festival events. Visit ncsciencefestival.org for the full calendar.
Statewide Star Parties
April 5 – Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill hosts the official kickoff of the N.C. Science Festival with its Statewide Star Party at 9 p.m., featuring the planetarium's telescope and remote robotic telescopes. Statewide Star Party events will also occur at Marbles Kids Museum, the Museum of Life and Science, Jordan Lake, Reedy Creek Observatory, the N.C. Museum of Natural Science's Prairie Ridge, Duke University, Eno River State Park and other sites. ncsciencefestival.org.
Raleigh Rockin Walkin Tour
April 5 – Explore the rocks and minerals that make up downtown Raleigh buildings. Find out how the rocks were made and why they are used for building construction. Visit a unique education wall with the water and rock cycle etched in to it. Free. 3 p.m. Downtown Raleigh, starting at either the Old Capitol building or DPI building. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/raleigh-rockin.
Teen Science Café - Plague: New Lessons from an Ancient Disease
April 5 – Bill Goldman from UNC discusses the plague, the deadly disease that changed the course of European history during the Middle Ages. Teens learn why scientists continue to study this disease and what can it tell us about the evolution and emergence of highly virulent pathogens. Free. 6 p.m. Daily Planet Cafe at the Nature Research Center, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 121 W. Jones St., Raleigh. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/teen-science-cafe.
Triangle BEST Fest
April 6 – The BEST Fest (Biotechnology, Engineering, Science and Technology) features crafts, games and hands-on activities for the whole family. Enjoy exhibits in both museum wings and special talks throughout the day in the Daily Planet and Windows on the World theaters. Free. 9 a.m. NC Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Raleigh. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/triangle-best-fest.
13th Annual Birdhouse Competition
April 6-7 – View birdhouse creations ranging from barrels of laughs to studies in craftsmanship and beauty. This event is part of the N.C. Science Festival. Free. 10 a.m. April 6 and noon April 7. J.C. Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/birdhouse.
Marbles Kids Museum: Family Science Fair
April 6 – Marbles teams up with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for a science fair. Participate in two ways: Sign-up to display your family's project in the noncompetitive fair or explore others' creations and investigations. Free museum admission for registered participants. $5 ages 1-11. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/family-fair.
April 6 – A big day of tiny science features nanoscientists from Duke University, N.C. State University and Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center as they share hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations about all things teeny tiny. $5 ages 1 and older. 1-4 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/nanodays.
Marbles Kids Museum: Bubble-ology
April 7 – Immerse yourself in the fun and science of bubbles with Ken Lyle and his team of bubbleologists from Duke University's Chemistry Outreach Program. Make giant bubbles, stir up a cauldron of a bubblicious potion and see how different bubble frames and solutions create different kinds of bubbles. $5 ages 1-11. 1-3 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. marbleskidsmuseum.org/ncsciencefestival.
The Science of Trains
April 7 – Watch demonstrations on how diesel locomotives work and learn the science of steam locomotive boilers and engines, and also how railroad tracks work. Purchase train tickets online. $10/adult, $7/child for diesel train rides; $12/adult, $8/child for steam train ride. 10 a.m. New Hope Valley Railway, 3900 Bonsal Rd., New Hill. triangletrain.com.
Butterfly Bash in IMAX at Marbles
April 13 – Begin with a screening of Flight of the Butterflies 3D at 10 a.m. and stay for the Butterfly Bash featuring hands-on activities and imaginative play all about butterflies. Show your 10 a.m. movie ticket for admission to the Butterfly Bash. See website for fees. 10:45 a.m.-noon. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. imaxraleigh.org.
April 13 – Join the leagues of professionals and enthusiasts in the dynamic science of robotics. Enjoy hands-on demonstrations, workshops, bot hockey and more. $14 adults, $10 ages 3-12, free for ages 2 and younger. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Museum of Life and Science, 433 W. Murray Ave., Durham. 919-220-5429 . ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/robot-rumble-2013.
Sound Science! with NCSU's NSTA Club
April 13 – Explore the science behind sound. Investigate and create instruments, see sound waves, make oobleck dance, and play around with vibration, beat and rhythm. $5 ages 1-11. 1-3 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. marbleskidsmuseum.org/ncsciencefestival.
Green Energy Workshop: Water Power
April 14 – Explore the power of water as a green energy source. Investigate properties of water, create a water wheel and build hydroelectric snap circuits. $5 ages 1-11. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. marbleskidsmuseum.org/ncsciencefestival.
Sweet Science! with NCSU's Food Science Club
April 14 – Dig into the chemistry of food and the science of sweet with guest star scientists from NCSU's Food Science Club. Experiment with candy, test out tastes and get close up with crystals. $5 ages 1-11. 1-3 p.m. Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. marbleskidsmuseum.org/ncsciencefestival.
N.C. Science Festival Day at the N.C. General Assembly
April 16 – More than 20 exhibitors from around the state celebrate their science STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) pride. Each exhibit is hands-on and interactive, and showcases North Carolina businesses, museums and STEM competitions. Free. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. N.C. Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St., Raleigh. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/general-assembly.
Science of Motion in Flight
April 16 – Kids ages 8-11 build paper airplanes, helicopters and mini hovercrafts to better understand basic principles of flight. Experiment with balance, symmetry and elevator angles, and gain insight into Newton's Third Law of Motion. Free. 6:30 p.m. South Branch Public Library, 1550 S. Campus Dr., Creedmoor. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/science-of-motion.
Mad Materials Science: Strange Polymers, Crazy Colloids and Mad Materials
April 17 – Astonishing materials, crazy chemistry and all things squishy and gooey are the stars of this family-friendly, hands-on event. Kids and adults can play with fun polymers, learn about next generation soft materials and chat with scientists. Free. 4:30 p.m. Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering Medicine and Applied Sciences, Duke University, 101 Science Dr., Durham. ncsciencefestival.org/2013_event/goo.
An Evening with Alton Brown
April 18 – The host of the Food Network's "Good Eats" program shares his unique brand of kitchen science with comedy, culture and cooking. Purchase tickets online. $20-$125. 7:30 p.m. Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. 919-680-2787. dpacnc.org.
Visit our Things to Do, Family Fun pages and Spring Guide to the Triangle to find more upcoming family events around the Triangle!