College invites community to interactive showcase of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College invites people of all ages to its seventh annual STEM Open House at its facility on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC).

On Thursday, April 19, from 5-8 p.m. the College will welcome the community to a fun, interactive event showcasing the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

“One of the most overlooked aspects of STEM education is that there are many students out there who get enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment from it,” said Dr. Carol A. Scherczinger, dean of the College’s art and science programs. “Focusing on STEM for these students helps them feel more involved with their education.”

The College will have dozens of interactive exhibits for children and adults of all ages to dazzle the senses and stir curiosity for all things STEM! The community will have the opportunity to view strawberry DNA, make ice cream using dry ice, experience virtual welding, and even engage in activities involving how germs pass from person to person.

“Less than 20 percent of college graduates graduate in a STEM industry field or subject, whereas there will be an estimated 1.2 million job vacancies in these sections by 2018.The STEM Open House is a true celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “STEM is very hands-on and skill based.”

The exhibits will be extremely diverse – everything from the chemistry of extracting DNA, to the creation of milk fireworks, to stargazing to view the College’s named star! The stargazing will begin after the STEM event has concluded at 8 p.m.

“Holding this event at our building on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) is a natural fit. Our NCRC building is the home of our biotechnology and nursing programs – two of our most STEM intensive curricula,” said Spalding.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s STEM Open House will be one of the many events occurring as part of the NC Science Festival taking place from April 1-30.

Parents and children during STEM event“In addition to high school student participation, we also want younger children (elementary- and middle-school-aged) to participate with their parents,” said Scherczinger.

Given that STEM is an important focus for Rowan-Cabarrus, the College has committed to play a large role in the NC Science Festival. Activities will focus on engaging the younger generation in science. Events across the state are designed to bring science to life for students and their parents.

Surrounding high schools are busing in students for a special rendition of the STEM Open House just for these students on Friday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

For more information about this event or to bring a school group, please contact Crystal Ryerson (704-216-3806, crystal.ryerson@rccc.edu). The College’s location for the STEM Open House is on the North Carolina Research Campus at 399 Biotechnology Lane, Kannapolis. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.