Education briefs

  • Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:37 a.m.

STEM open house in Kannapolis

KANNAPOLIS — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College invites people of all ages to its second annual STEM Open House at the college’s teaching facility on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC).

On Friday, April 12, from 2-5 p.m., the college will open its doors to the community for a fun, interactive event showcasing the college’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

“Almost everything we do in life involves STEM, but not everyone realizes it,” said Dr. Marcy Corjay, dean of the college’s science, biotechnology, mathematics and information technologies. “Science deals with our natural and physical world. Technology has given us iPads, smartphones and computers we use every single day. Engineering includes building things. Mathematics ranges from financial decisions to gaming strategies, such as playing pool or engaging in games of logic.”

The college will have dozens of interactive exhibits for kids and adults of all ages to stir curiosity for all things STEM. The community will have the opportunity to perform DNA extraction in the college’s science labs, help a robot disarm a simulated bomb and even engage in making bouncy balls and firefighting.

“The STEM Open House is a true celebration of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “One of my goals since coming to Rowan-Cabarrus is to increase the breadth and depth of our STEM education. I fully believe that everyone can be interested in STEM — and that it’s critical that we embrace these subjects. America used to be the leader in technology and innovation. It’s time for us to reclaim that role.”

The college wants younger children to attend with their parents. The exhibits will be diverse — everything from the complexity of balancing pH in dying hair to the chemistry of making ice cream and how to develop videogames that use race cars and firetrucks.

Surrounding public and private schools will be busing in students for the occasion. The target audience for this open house is broader than it has been in the past. In addition to attracting more traditional-aged prospective students, the college also want younger children (elementary- and middle-school-aged) to participate with their parents.

RCCC’s STEM Open House will be one event occurring as part of the N.C. Science Festival taking place April 5-21. Events throughout the state are designed to bring science to life for students and their parents.

Locally, the college has coordinated with other universities, schools and groups in Kannapolis to design events that will appeal to the whole community (

For more information about this event or to bring your students from school, please contact Dr. Marcy Corjay at 704-216-7217 or

The STEM Open House will be held at RCCC’s building on the North Carolina Research Campus at 399 Biotechnology Lane, Kannapolis. For more information about RCCC, please visit

Funeral home scholarships

STATESVILLE — Rutledge and Bigham Mortuary will again offer annual memorial scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each.

The Charles Warner Brown Higher Learning Scholarship will be awarded to a person who is seeking a graduate degree or entering a doctoral program. The person should be a spouse, child or grandchild of a person served by Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home.

The Rutledge and Bigham Annual Memorial Scholarship will also be awarded this year to a graduating high school student. The person should be a graduating high school student whose parent, grandparent or guardian was served by the funeral home.

Additional qualifications for each scholarship can be picked up at the funeral home and the scholarships will be awarded at their Annual Memorial Service and 91st Anniversary Service which will be held in June 23.

Deadline for submitting both applications is April 30. Qualified applicants can call the funeral home for additional information, 704-873-3611.

Bright ideas grants

STATESVILLE – EnergyUnited and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have pledged nearly $600,000 to the state’s teachers in Bright Ideas education grant funding for the 2013-14 school year and are accepting grant applications now. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded directly to educators for creative, hands-on classroom projects that may not otherwise be funded. Teachers can learn more and apply online at

“Bright Ideas grants allow students to build, create and learn by doing, instead of just reading words from textbooks or scribbling out math problems on notebook paper,” said H. Wayne Wilkins, CEO of EnergyUnited. “We are so pleased to give teachers new resources to make a difference for students by bringing their creative ideas to life.”

EnergyUnited expects to award $40,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to educators in its 19-county service area. The grants are available to certified K-12 teachers for innovative projects in any subject. Teachers can apply individually or as a team and must apply online.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 20, but Wilkins noted it could pay to apply early. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of Friday, Aug. 16 will be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card.

To apply, educators must include a budget, explain the creative elements, implementation, goals and evaluation of the project, and have approval from the school principal.

Applications will be judged in a competitive evaluation process, and judges will be on the lookout for projects that feature innovation and creativity. The application, grant-writing tips and examples of past winning proposals can be found at

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