April is National Science Month, and libraries in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties are focusing on the topic with displays, programs, hands-on activities, and more. From workshops on vegetable gardening, animal habitats and building robots, to viewing the stars in a portable planetarium, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) takes center stage during the month of April at all Fontana Regional Library locations.
Libraries are increasingly becoming STEM education centers in their communities, supplementing what children learn in their classrooms and helping the public of all ages experience science first-hand.
As part of the North Carolina Science Festival held throughout the state April 7-23, Jackson County Public Library and Macon County Public Library will host official Festival events focusing on science and technology. At the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva on April 11, children will use recycled materials to design and build a container to protect a raw egg from a high fall, as well as build catapults to launch marshmallow Peeps. At the Macon County Public Library in Franklin on April 20, families and the public of all ages can visit the portable planetarium and participate in hands-on science activities during a Family Science Night.
Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is the first statewide science festival in the United States. Through a two-week series of community-based events each spring (hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other local organizations), the Festival celebrates the economic, educational and cultural impact of science in North Carolina.
“Science is fun, science is everywhere, science is for everyone — that’s what the North Carolina Science Festival is all about,” said Jonathan Frederick, Festival director.
The North Carolina Science Festival is presented by the Biogen Foundation and produced by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.