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RCCC to host STEM open house

KANNAPOLIS — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College invites people of all ages to its fifth STEM Open House at its facility on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis.

On Thursday, April 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Friday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the college will welcome the community to a fun, interactive event showcasing the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

“Almost everything we do in life has STEM applications, but not everyone realizes it,” said Dr. Carol A. Scherczinger, dean of the college’s science, biotechnology, mathematics and information technologies. “STEM subjects are very concrete. Science deals with our natural and physical world. Technology has given us the iPads, smart phones and computers we use every single day. Engineering is all about 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 children and adults of all ages to dazzle the senses and stir curiosity for all things STEM. The community will have the opportunity to make their own rocket, participate in “Zombies: Fact or Fiction,” and even engage in activities involving 3D printing and forensic recovery.

“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 children and adults of all ages to attend with their parents. The exhibits will be diverse – everything from “Infected,” where folks will exchange fluids in test tubes to see who gets infected and how fast it can spread, to growing an ear in lab dishes and how to develop video games to race cars and fire trucks.

“Holding this event at our building on the North Carolina Research Campus makes a lot of sense. Our NCRC building is the home of our biotechnology and nursing programs – two of our most STEM-intensive curriculum,” said Spalding.

Surrounding public and private schools are busing in students on Friday for the occasion.

“The target audience for this open house is broader than it has been for open houses of the past. In addition to driving more traditional-aged prospective students, we also want younger children (elementary- and middle-school-aged) to participate with their parents,” said Scherczinger.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s STEM open house will be one of the many events occurring as part of the N.C. Science Festival taking place April 8-24. Given that STEM is an important focus for Rowan-Cabarrus, the college has committed to play a large role in the N.C. 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.

For more information about this event or to bring a school group, contact Dusty Saine at 704-216-7105 or dusty.saine@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, visit www.rccc.edu.

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