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UNC Charlotte Science and Technology ExpoUNC Charlotte is once again playing a big part in the North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide public celebration of science.

Along with the popular Science and Technology Expo on April 29, UNC Charlotte is hosting a Star Party on April 20 and several kid-stimulating science and technology workshops on campus throughout the month (CLICK for workshop details).

Star Party on April 20

The cosmic Star Party will start at dusk on Friday, April 20, when the UNC Charlotte Observatory will offer a night of expertly guided stargazing. Several of the University’s larger telescopes will be used for viewing exciting celestial objects.

The free event offers other astronomy-related activities and displays for the kids.


Science and Technology Expo keeps growing

The Science and Technology Expo remains the University’s largest NCSF event and its grand finale, closing out the festival from noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 29.

The expo includes an ever-expanding set of activities, including robotics, rocketry, virtual people, live animals, lab experiments, explosive chemistry, exotic plants, fire engines, race cars, boats, and an interactive artificial intelligence and lifelike machine or two.

The event is for the science-curious of all ages, featuring 100-plus hands-on activities and presentations. Many of these offer public-friendly glimpses into some more-than-cool current research work, developed by UNC Charlotte science and technology departments and labs.


Many groups helping stage Expo

The April 29 expo has grown to be much more than a showcase of University expertise — a host of industry and community organizations is involved in what has become a regional festival of ingenuity and education. Among this year’s partnering organizations are STEM-oriented institutions such as Discovery Place, the N.C. Zoo, Carolina Raptor Center, Great Outdoors University (N.C. Wildlife Federation), Makerspace Charlotte, Charlotte IOT, NASCAR Hall of Fame, N.C. First and First Tech Challenge Robotics (100 Black Men of Charlotte).

Various K-12 schools will participate, showcasing creative STEM activities taking place in local classrooms.

Finally, a number of N.C.-based industries and research institutions are involved, including Duke Energy, Corning Corporation, FMC Corporation, Sealed Air, the N.C. Research Campus (Plants for Human Health) and Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte.


Don’t miss these special shows

Dr. Boom

Kids love Tom “Dr. Boom” Schmedake’s Combustion Chemistry Show

As the expo has grown over the years, a number of distinctive “shows within the show” have developed, including chemistry professor Tom “Dr. Boom” Schmedake’s always popular Combustion Chemistry Show; a special Robotics Expo inside the adjacent Popp Martin Student Union; and a short workshop in ethical hacking, presented by a student cybersecurity group

New this year (since the NCSF’s theme is “Science and Food”), a chef from JWU-Charlotte will explore the anatomical science and culinary art of meat, in a series of “Science of Pork” demonstrations/performances. A food truck will supply free samples after each show.

Visitors can follow up the snacks with Nanodot Ice Cream, produced by UNC Charlotte’s Chemistry Department.


Directions and links

  • Location: The UNC Charlotte Science and Technology Expo will be located on the University’s lower mall, across from the Popp Martin Student Union and adjacent to Halton Arena (Barnhardt Student Activity Center).
  • Free parking: All campus parking is free on Sundays (the Student Union Deck is the recommended parking venue).
  • Free admission: Except for the workshops, all other UNC Charlotte N.C. Science Festival events are free and open to the public.
  • More Expo information: https://ncsciencefestival.uncc.edu
  • More workshop details: See workshop details and registration links at https://ncsciencefestival.uncc.edu/workshops
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