UPDATE 3/11/20: Due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Cape Fear Museum decided to postpone the Experience STEM-ILM showcase. A reschedule date hasn’t yet been set.

In a statement, organizers stressed the importance of social distancing among all residents, especially those in at-risk groups, citing recommendations from New Hanover County officials.

“Due to this recommendation and for the safety of our community, we have made the decision to reschedule the event since it would bring together more than 250 residents from the community, including those who are at higher risk,” the announcement stated. “We are disappointed to make a cancellation announcement at this late date. We look forward to rescheduling and will share details in the near future.”

Experience STEM-ILM is just one of several event cancellations across North Carolina this week. TechWire is staying on top of these cancellations and will be removing events from our calendar as needed.


WILMINGTON – On March 12, supporters of STEM education and a who’s who of New Hanover County’s tech innovators will gather at the Cape Fear Museum for Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 presented by nCino. The second annual fundraiser will feature interactive exhibits from many of the region’s top tech companies.

Emily Bogan, VP of Product Enablement and GTM (Go To Market) at nCino, and vice president of the Cape Fear Museum Associates board, says this is a great opportunity for the community to become scientists for a night and mingle with like-minded techies while raising money for STEM activities.

“nCino strongly supports STEM education,” Bogan says. “For a tech company, inspiring the next generation of leaders through technology and education is incredibly important.” nCino sponsored its own Kids Who Code program for area children and Bogan says she hopes to bring that educational activity to the Cape Fear Museum.

“I’m really passionate about exposing today’s children to the many career options available in technology,” she says. “Growing up, kids hear about the typical career paths, medicine, law, and that sort of thing, but they don’t hear as much about careers in tech. They could be videographers, design websites or apps, build video games, so many different opportunities to be creative.

“At nCino, we believe that getting kids excited about careers in tech at an early age is vital.”

At last year’s event, Bogan says, the nCino exhibit focused on AI and machine learning. “This year, we’re exploring videography, with an interactive experience featuring video animation and time lapse photography,” she says. “nCino’s video division makes a lot of really cool videos and it teamed up with nVolve, our community involvement arm, on this project. People will be able to produce a video using the technology, then put on headsets and see what they’ve created.” One of nCino’s contributions as presenting sponsor is a promotional video for the event.

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 at the Cape Fear Museum will feature tech themed cocktails. credit: Cape Fear Museum

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 at the Cape Fear Museum will feature tech themed cocktails. credit: Cape Fear Museum

In addition to nCino, booths at Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 will include a cross-section of cutting edge technology from local companies.

  • Lapetus Solutions demonstrates the powerful machine learning and AI techniques that can generate mimicry and “deepfakes” – synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness – a timely issue in today’s atmosphere of “fake news.”
  • Audi Cape Fear presents the Audi e-tron®, Audi’s cutting edge electric SUV.
  • Corning, Inc demonstrates how optical fiber is made using a cotton candy model.
  • Cape Fear Solar Systems brings its interactive solar design center to the party to teach guests more about solar energy.
  • Monteith Construction demonstrates the use of a virtual reality experience that takes designers inside a construction site to make changes – the next level in 3D modeling.
  • Cape Fear Collective explores community perceptions of poverty through an interactive string art exhibit based on CFC’s quantitative deep data collection and indicates ways the community can band together to solve one of its most pressing problems.
  • GE presents a model of its Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Nuclear Fuel Assembly used throughout the world as well as 2-minute film on the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR), a Department of Energy (DOE) funded project, which is being designed for to test fast neutron capability for advanced reactor research and development in the United States.
  • NHRMC (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) introduces STEM-ILM guests to HANNA, a digital human that can answer patients’ questions during their recovery phase.
  • Wrightsville Beach Brewery will explain the science of brewing (and distribute samples).

Astronaut and biochemist Lawrence J. DeLuca will be the special guest for the evening, and should feel right at home in the museum’s interactive Space Place area, modeled after the International Space Station and funded by GE.

Wilmington’s education community will be well represented at the March 12 event. UNCW is sending over a 3-D printer. The Wired Wizards, a high school robotics team sponsored by the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will show off their competition robot. The UNCW Esports video gaming team will demonstrate this increasingly popular international sport, which enjoys significant organizational and financial support from deep-pocket game developers.

Besides the wide range of technology on display, the fun evening includes STEM-themed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from caterer Pine Valley Market and live jazz entertainment by SweetKeyz Productionz with Sherome Clay.

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 comes to the Cape Fear Museum March 20. credit: Cape Fear Museum

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 comes to the Cape Fear Museum March 20. credit: Cape Fear Museum


Best of all, Bogan says, the funds raised will expand science and technology programming to students and families throughout the Lower Cape Fear Region. The Cape Fear Museum’s STEM education programs aim to spark curiosity, build enthusiasm for learning, increase familiarity with scientific settings and promote family discussions of science topics.

“We are cultivating the minds of tomorrow,” Bogan says.

Experience STEM-ILM 2.0 takes place on Thursday, March 12, 2020, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a Smithsonian Affiliate located in Wilmington’s historic downtown district. Tickets to the 21-and-over fundraiser, $20 for members and $25 for non-members, are available on the Cape Fear Museum website.