• 63°

Students explore careers at RCCC’s STEM Open House

By Andie Foley
andie.foley@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — Students from Cabarrus and surrounding counties were privy to hands-on learning last week through Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s eighth annual STEM Open House.

Throughout three floors of the college’s North Carolina Research Campus building, some could be found making butter with heavy whipping cream along with college students in the early childhood development program. Others froze flowers and fruit in liquid nitrogen in the chemistry lab or calculated taxes at a pretend marketplace in the mathematics department.

Student groups were guided around the numerous activities by a mixture of faculty, staff members and college students.

Each station offered them the chance to explore science, technology, engineering and math as they related to real-world and ever-growing career choices.

“These are a lot of the fear subjects,” said Carol Scherezinger, dean of arts and sciences. “People think, ‘I can’t do it. I’m scared.’ We like to first of all open our doors and show everyone what we’re doing but also show them that you can do it and it’s possible and it’s fun.”

The open house began Thursday evening and was free and open to the public. It continued Friday with groups from local schools.

Scherezinger said the open house was part of the North Carolina Science Festival, which invites participants to showcase STEM activities, careers and more to “make things more accessible to the general public.”

For the college, the open house also offered chances to expose students and their families to the wide array of courses and career pathways available at Rowan-Cabarrus.

Many stations were manned by students and instructors in each: Dental assistant students used eggs to show the effects of soda on tooth enamel. Physical therapy assistants led students in rounds of jumping jacks. Microbiology lab instructor Linne Wallace helped students explore their dominate and recessive genes. The list goes on.

In its effort to spark curiosity and offer some brain-training fun, the open house proved to be a marked success.

“I’ve thought about my future, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do because there’s so many things you can do,” said Mount Pleasant freshman Tia Wright. “I like how they have the kids come in here and just let them see what they do here.”

Wright said activities in biochemistry and cosmetology were of particular interest.

“The way that all the substances reacted with one another and when you find out what they do with each other, it’s really interesting,” she said.

Her classmates, juniors Kelley Wood and Hannah Linn, agreed, calling the open house “fun,” “hands-on” and “very interactive.”

“So much of what we do is STEM-based, and people just don’t realize it,” said Scherezinger. “So you show people, ‘Guess what? That all has a basis in some kind of science or math.’ It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Comments

Coronavirus

State reports 10 new COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County, 18 this week

Crime

Man jailed after fleeing to California, returning to Kannapolis

Granite Quarry

Granite Quarry officials will request correction to 2020 Census count

Local

Salisbury city manager describes short-term solutions for firefighter pay concerns

Education

17 rackets donated to Erwin Middle School tennis teams

Local

Spencer town hall project at Park Plaza moving along

Nation/World

‘Soul-crushing’: US COVID-19 deaths are topping 1,900 a day

Nation/World

White House faces bipartisan backlash on Haitian migrants

Nation/World

House OKs debt and funding plan, inviting clash with GOP

Nation/World

China, US unveil separate big steps to fight climate change

Local

Charlotte-based developer chosen for Empire Hotel project

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths in Rowan grow to 378 since start of pandemic

Coronavirus

375 employees noncompliant with Novant Health’s vaccination requirement

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 21

Local

Salisbury woman wins $200,000 from scratch-off ticket

Local

Commissioners approve incentive agreement for ‘I-85 Commerce Center’ on Webb Road

Education

State Employees Credit Union commits $1.5 million to new Partners in Learning center

Local

Salisbury council to discuss grant for thermal cameras, reconsider rezoning for future Goodwill store

Elections

Early voting for 2021 municipal elections begin Oct. 14

Nation/World

COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

Nation/World

US officials defend expulsion of Haitians from Texas town

Nation/World

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 fatalities bring September death toll to 27

Business

New ambulance company moves into Rowan County, filling need as COVID hospitalizations remain high