UNC Asheville to Host the NC Star Party and NC Science Festival Activities in April


UNC Asheville will be a host site in April for the 8th annual NC Science Festival, the statewide celebration of science featuring fun, hands-on events and activities for people of all ages. The statewide festival’s signature event – the NC Star Party, a nighttime stargazing session – will be hosted on campus at Lookout Observatory, and the Quad will offer midday solar observing and a Science Faire.

UNC Asheville’s NC Science Festival activities are free and open to everyone.  

April 5 – Solar Observing on the Quad, noon-2 p.m.  – UNC Asheville’s Department of Physics and the Astronomy Club of Asheville will partner in offering ways to safely observe the midday sun, with its sunspots, prominences and more, through a variety of solar filters. Participants will also have the opportunity to create sun prints and investigate solar power and sun-sensitive beads. In case of cloudy weather, this event will be rescheduled for Friday, April 6 at the same time.

April 10 – UNC Asheville Science Faire on the Quad – noon-1 p.m. – The university’s Departments of Computer Science, Mechatronics Engineering and Physics will team up to offer tricky and surprising activities and demonstrations. In case of rain, this event will be rescheduled for Tuesday, April 24 at the same time.

April 17 - Pollination-Themed Design due for Pollination Mold Competition - Submit a pollination-themed design for the contest!  The winning sketches will be turned into molds which can be used to make cupcakes, candy, or soap.  Any North Carolina resident, or North Carolina club or class may enter.  See the Competition website for more information: https://sites.google.com/a/unca.edu/science-festival/the-competition.

April 20 – NC Star Party at Lookout Observatory – 8:30-11:30 p.m. – Stargazers in 37 different North Carolina locations will be looking skyward on this weekend, asking the same question: “Anyone Out There?” UNC Asheville’s Department of Physics and the Astronomy Club of Asheville will team up again to help visitors explore the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe, and point out stars known to have exoplanets. Lookout Observatory’s variety of telescopes also will provide views of double stars, nebulae, clusters and galaxies. The NC Science Festival’s annual Statewide Star Party is made possible through the generous support of the NC Space Grant.

Advance online registration is required for UNC Asheville’s NC Star Party and registration will open on April 9 on the Lookout Observatory website. In case of cloudy skies, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 21 at the same time.

To receive email notification when stargazing registration opens, sign up at the website lookoutobservatory.unca.edu, where information about possible postponement of NC Science Festival events also will be posted.

April 24 - Pollination Celebration at the Bee Hotel  - Noon - 3pm - Join students and faculty April 24th from noon to 3 pm for the Pollination Celebration-- a tour of UNC Asheville's Bee Hotel, the pollination gardens, and a display of solar wax melters. Celebrants who register at least one week in advance can build their own small bee hotel and enjoy honey-sweetened snacks molded with the winning designs from the pollination mold design competition.    Please see the Pollination Celebration website for more information: https://sites.google.com/a/unca.edu/science-festival/home.

For more information, contact Brian Hart in UNC Asheville’s Department of Physics office at rbhart@unca.edu or 828.251.6442.