KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College was proud to host its fourth annual STEM Open House at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) earlier this spring.
“The STEM Open House was 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 should 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.”
Over 750 members of the community visited the STEM Open House. The STEM Open House was a fun, interactive event for the community showcasing the College’s science, technology, engineering and math programs.
The College hosted dozens of interactive exhibits for kids and adults of all ages to spark the senses and stir curiosity for all things STEM. Attendees were able to make their own rocket, talk with a real SWAT team, climb aboard a real fire truck, play games and even engage in activities involving sculpture and crime scene forensics that created fun products by applying scientific and engineering principles in collaboration with technology and mathematics.
“Our exhibits show that science is friendly, approachable and fun,” said Dr. Carol A. Scherczinger, dean of the College’s science, biotechnology, mathematics and information technologies. “Research has shown that opinions toward STEM subjects are formed early. Our purpose is two-fold: to recruit students to the College and also to offer a public service by providing opportunities to make STEM enjoyable and approachable.”
The exhibits were extremely diverse – visitors made and launched their own rockets, tested their skin for germs and learned about the science of investigating a crime scene. Visitors learned about DNA extraction, the complexity of balancing pH in dying hair and the science of firefighting.
The College’s nursing programs also host an annual health fair that was incorporated into the STEM Open House. Faculty utilized displays to educate the community about the dangers of smoking and the importance of nutrition.
“Holding this event at the College’s North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) facility makes a lot of sense. Our NCRC building is the home of our biotechnology and nursing programs – two of our most STEM intensive curricula,” said Spalding. “If you haven’t had a chance to visit the facility before, I encourage you to do so!”
The target audience for this open house was broader than traditional open houses hosted by the College. In addition to recruiting traditional-aged prospective students, the College aspired to host younger children from local K-12 public schools, homeschool students and families.
The STEM Open House was held in conjunction with the statewide NC Science Festival focused on engaging the younger generation in science. Events across the state were designed to bring science to life for students and their parents.
For more information about next year’s event, please contact Dusty Saine (704-216-7105, firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).