That’s right:  towns. Which is probably the hardest thing to wrap your head around when conceptualizing our statewide science festival. Allow me to explain:

The fourth annual North Carolina Science Festival kicks off on Friday, March 28. For 17 straight days there are hundreds of science events happening all over the state. We’re basically putting a big circus tent on top of NC and throwing a big science party.

Map of festival events

Sneak peak at your 2014 NC Science Festival

All sorts of amazing partners are getting in on the act. Museums — not solely science museums, mind you — amusement parks, zoos, colleges, shopping malls, bars & restaurants, breweries (science of beer, anyone?), parks, businesses — you name it, we probably have an event if not in it, then near it.

At last count there are over 700 events on our calendar. (Our calendar… I’ll get back to that in a minute). Some of this year’s highlights include the return of our wildly successful Statewide Star Party, a visit from Mr. Cosmos himself, Neil deGrasse Tyson, a science-themed fitness race, over a dozen science expos (think “street fairs”), an April Fool’s Day science comedy night, and the return of our NC Science Summit. There’s literally something for everyone. And I literally mean literally.

When we started this Festival, we wanted to work hard to put high quality science events near every North Carolinian. This year, I think we’ve achieved our goal thanks to our partners, our sponsors, and the fantastic Morehead team.

I invite you to peruse our calendar and start picking out events to attend. Fair warning: the calendar is gigantic. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Our web team has put together a bunch of different ways to search for events you might like. You can find events by geography, topic, day/time, etc. So narrow it down and go crazy.

It’s Festival time!

Jonathan Frederick directs the North Carolina Science Festival, an initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

radiolab_You like science, right? Who are we kidding, of course you do. And you enjoy listening to the radio, right? Maybe even a little NPR when you’re feeling saucy? Well, my friends, you should check out Radiolab if you haven’t yet.

Radiolab is an incredible NPR show that has been around since 2005 and is produced out of WNYC in, you guessed it, New York City. But don’t judge it harshly because you don’t like Yankee radio. No, no, no. Radiolab delves into really interesting science topics, pulls out the fascinating bits and tells a great story along the way. This isn’t some boring science recording from 1954 that sounds like Troy McClure is doing the voice over. No, this is kind of like a This American Life about science with better audio editing. So if you’re an documentary audio geek like me, you’ll appreciate the production values that quite possibly surpass most NPR shows out there – which is saying a lot.

Unfortunately, WUNC does not broadcast it so go to the Radiolab website or download free podcasts from iTunes. My favorite so far is the story on parasites. Listening to a story about them is much better than getting them. Trust me.

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager. He can't believe he had never listened to Radiolab until a couple weeks ago.

Ever hear of DragonflyTV? If you’re a kid, you probably have. It’s an Emmy Award winning PBS Kids program that shows real kids doing real science and makes it fun. Last season, DragonflyTV decided to do a series on the world of nanoscale science and technology. And since our exhibit, “Zoom In,” already has lots of cool things to do regarding the nano world, when DragonflyTV went to North Carolina, they came over to Morehead to shoot an episode. The episode is called “Where’s Nano” and features our own Exhibits Manager, Michele Kloda. Learn more about the episode or just sit back and watch it on the ol’ YouTube.

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager. He doesn't have cable so he watches the Boob tube on the Youtube.

Now you can watch the latest Science 360 from the comfort of your own computer screen (although it’s much more fun to come in to see it and check out a Planetarium or laser show while you’re at it). But right now you’re probably sitting on your couch and wondering, “Why do plants have flowers? How do flowers develop? What secrets are hidden in their genes, and how could those secrets affect our lives?” I know you are – don’t lie to me. Watch the vid below and find out the answers. When you’re done, check out some of our other videos on our youtube and vimeo channels.

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager. He is ready for lunch. No, seriously.

youtube-logoMorehead now has YouTube and Vimeo channels. Check them out here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/moreheadplanetarium

http://vimeo.com/channels/morehead

Right now we’ve got the trailer for our first planetarium show, Earth, Moon and Sun, as well as videos from our Science 360 series that talk about current science topics from stem cells to genetic engineering. Just hit the subscribe button at the top of each page and you’ll be alerted when we put new video content up on the site. Keep an eye out for a couple new Science 360s in the next few months as well as a sneak peak at our next planetarium show.

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager.


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