Hundreds Learn that Science is Cool

What do a bed of nails, wind turbines and snakes all have in common? They all played a key role in the events held in celebration of the fourth annual North Carolina Science Festival at McGuire Nuclear Station and Harris Nuclear Plant.

April was a busy month as more than 300 homeschool students participated in the statewide, multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology at the two sites.

Catawba Science CenterThe EnergyExplorium, the energy education center at McGuire Nuclear Station, hosted several programs to encourage the love of science in students. Elementary school age students explored the use of chemistry and physics to demonstrate well known science principles like Newton’s Law during “Super Science Day.”  A partnership between the Catawba Science Center and the EnergyExplorium, the day featured interactive experiments including a bed of nails, liquid nitrogen, flammable versus nonflammable gases, a tablecloth yank and lots more.

20140404_102454Teens also celebrated science at the EnergyExplorium during “Problem Solving: A Key to Engineering” homeschool day. Students began the day with an overview of the various types of engineering careers then worked together on several interactive activities to get a better understanding of problem solving and teamwork. Some of the team building activities included building wind turbines and simple DC circuits, and experimenting with control relays and electromagnetics.

DSC_0065The NC Science Festival activities concluded with more than 100 homeschool students attending an event at the Harris Energy and Environmental Center. Site engineers kicked-off the day by leading a presentation on nuclear energy. Students also learned about live animals, like salamanders and snakes, through a partnership with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

The NC Science Festival highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits and performances, the Festival engages a wide-range of public audiences while inspiring future generations. Recognizing the importance of STEM education and its impact on the state, Duke Energy was one of many sponsors this year.

Visit the EnergyExplorium and Harris Energy and Environmental Center websites for more information on each facility.