(STEM News is provided on Local Tech Wire through a collaborative effort with the NC STEM Community Collaborative, MCNC, and the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Center (SMT Center). To submit story ideas, please email LTW Editor Rick Smith rsmith@wral.com or Noah Garrett noah@thinkngc.com.)

Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – North Carolina businesses are backing efforts to showcase the state’s science prowess.

The (NCSF) is scheduled for Sept. 11 through Sept. 26 and features events across the state. It’s a partner event in concert with the in Washington, D.C., and the first statewide festival of its kind in the United States.

"North Carolina is a state that is helping to craft tomorrow – today," said Dr. Sam Houston, president and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center. "This celebration can further define and excite North Carolina around science."

The festival’s Web site offers a searchable calendar for festival events for all ages, including many free activities.

Among the activities already scheduled span the entire state:

  • Come face-to-face with all things creepy and crawly at Bugfest (N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh)
  • Check out the biggest exhibit of shell collections in N.C. (Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, Wilmington)
  • Explore the science of wine making (Shelton Vineyards, Dobson)
  • Build an electromagnet (Imagination Station, Wilson)
  • Take a guided bird walk (Jackson Park, Hendersonville)
  • Tour a coastal research station (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility, Duck)
  • Learn how movie professionals create special effects (N.C. Museum of Life and Science, Durham)

The two-week festival also includes the new , hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday, Sept. 25.

"The North Carolina Science Festival theme of ‘Life is Your lab’ really says it all," said UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp. "By participating in festival activities, you’re going to see how science and technology are building a new North Carolina; it’s going to be fun."

The SAS Institute, Biogen Idec, Inspire Pharmaceutical, and BB&T have signed up as sponsors of the festival.

Others supporting the North Carolina Science Festival are the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, UNC Health Care, The Childers Foundation, NC STEM Community Collaborative, UNC School of Education, N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, N.C. Biotechnology Center, and The Research Triangle Park.

To get involved with the NCSF, contact Julie Rhoades at 919.962.5842 or jcrhodes@email.unc.edu.

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