Discover more coastal celebrations and programs at Earth Day 2023
A spate of events is set to take place on the coast as part of the 13th annual North Carolina Science Festival, or NCSciFest, in April.
The theme of NCSciFest 2023 is “Full STEAM Ahead,” celebrating the intersection of art and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, organizers said.
NCSciFest has an online calendar featuring the more than 800 events and programs scheduled for April 1-30 in all 100 counties or being held virtually.
“We are thrilled to be moving ahead with a full-scale festival,” said Todd Boyette, co-founder of NCSciFest and director of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the producing institution. “The number of events this year exceeds what we had in 2019.”
Erik MacIntosh, NCSciFest program manager, said that the “North Carolina Science Festival and our other initiatives are designed to make science fun and engaging and accessible.”
Biogen Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the eighth year. As the charitable arm of Biogen Inc., the foundation supports initiatives like NCSciFest that focus on increasing access to science education.
“We believe that science can be artistic, and art can be scientific,” said MacIntosh. “This year we celebrate the arts to drive creativity, collaboration, and innovative problem solving.”
Event attendance is free unless otherwise noted.
April Fools’ but Science RULES! 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Craven Community College campus, Havelock. Attendees will use chemistry to make butterflies, physics to make a keychain, paint with biology-based pigments, and more.
Fire Triangle 2 p.m. Saturday at Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Learn about the three elements of fire and how they depend on each other and why prescribed burns are beneficial to the ecosystem.
How Does Your Garden Grow? 2 p.m. Sunday at Hammocks Beach State Park, 1572 Hammocks Beach Road, Swansboro. The park is to create a new flower garden at the visitor center to become part of the Butterfly Highway program, a statewide conservation restoration initiative that aims to restore native pollinator habitats.
Webb Wednesdays: The History of the Telescope 4 p.m. April 5, April 12, April 19 and April 26, Ingram Planetarium, 7625 High Market St., Sunset Beach. Explore the history of the telescope and evolution of its design.
Family Day at the Museum of Coastal Carolina 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 8, Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach. There will be crafts and games inside and outside of the museum, weather permitting, food vendors and community representatives.
Colors in Nature 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 8, Bald Head Island Conservancy, 700 Federal Road, Bald Head Island. Explore the conservancy and learn how to use iNaturalist, a community science app, and make observations that scientists can use in their research.
Plastic Ocean Arts & Sci Fest 11 a.m-1 p.m. April 8, University of North Carolina Wilmington Watson School of Education Building Atrium, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington. For middle and high schoolers, there will be STEM-based activity stations related to plastic pollution and meet marine debris scientists.
Photosynthesis 2 p.m. April 13, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Candy STEM 11 a.m. April 14, Hertford County Public Library, 303 W. Tryon St., Winton. Test your skills at a math guessing game with jellybeans and use gummy bears engineer and build a structure.
Crabby Crustacean Catch 2 p.m. April 15, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Go With the Flow tide program 3:30 p.m. April 16, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Core Sound Earth Day April 20-21, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, 1785 Island Road, Harkers Island. Activities related to marine science, weather, local fisheries, dark skies, wildlife habitat, and more for area school groups grades K-5.
Gills: How Fish Breathe 2 p.m. April 20, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Learn about this distinct fish characteristic that other animals don’t have and how they can live in water.
Full STEAM Ahead at Pettigrew Library 4-6 p.m. April 20, Pettigrew Regional Library, 201 Third St., Plymouth. Five hands-on science stations.
Full STEAM Ahead: Science Meets Art for All 3:30-7:30 p.m. April 21, UNCW Watson Education Building, 970 Reynolds Drive, Wilmington. STEM faculty and researchers will partner with artists of all mediums to showcase the STEM research taking place in the region. Register online.
Statewide Star Party: Crystal Coast 4-9:30 p.m. April 21-22, Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitor Center, 1800 Island Road, Harkers Island. Schedule includes speakers, stargazing and children’s activities.
Statewide Star Party: Beulaville 5:30-8 p.m. April 21, Beaulaville Elementary School.
Statewide Star Party: OBX 6:30-9:30 p.m. April 21, Dowdy Park, Nags Head. .
Statewide Star Party: College of the Albemarle 7-9 p.m. April 21, College of the Albemarle – Elizabeth City, 1208 North Road St.
Statewide Star Party: Carolina Beach State Park 7-10 p.m. April 21, Carolina Beach State Park, 1010 State Park Road, Carolina Beach.
Statewide Star Party: Hammocks Beach State Park 7:30-9:30 p.m. April 21, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Statewide Star Party: Havelock 7:30-9:15 p.m. April 21, Craven Community College Havelock campus.
Earth Day at the Museum 6-8 p.m. April 21, Zing Zumm – Children’s Museum of Jacksonville, 625 New Bridge St., Jacksonville. There will be a film, art activities and area pollinators to discuss creating flower gardens.
Full STEAM Ahead at CMoW 9 a.m.-noon April 22, Children’s Museum of Wilmington, 116 Orange St., Wilmington. Art project, engineering challenge, science activity.
Ultimate Unmanned Vehicle Competition 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April 22, Crystal Coast R/C Club, 196 Carl Garner Road, Next to Newport Flea Market. Teams from seven high schools in Craven and Carteret counties will fly their homemade unmanned aerial vehicles.
Earth Day Bear Island Eco-Hike 9:45 a.m. April 22, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Meet at the Bear Island ferry waiting station. Ferry ticket required to attend program.
Technology of the Past 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 22, Historic Edenton State Historic Site, 108 N. Broad St., Edenton. Learn to make rope and ink, write with quill pens and see how food was prepared and preserved.
Earth Day at the Museum of Coastal Carolina 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 22, Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach.
Pollinator Palooza! 1-4 p.m. April 22, North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, 3 Pine Valley Drive, Wilmington. Learn about native pollinator species.
Saturdays of Science 2-4 p.m. April 22, T.S. Cooper Elementary School, Sunbury. The Saunders Science Scholars program is hosting the event in Gates County that will have experiments, crafts, virtual reality and giveaways.
Full STEAM Ahead with Science Alliance 5:30-8:30 p.m. April 22, Willard Outreach Community Center, 9955 N.C. Highway 11, Willard. Digital planetarium, telescopes to view the Pender County sky, examine how agricultural engineering has evolved over time and conduct experiments in bioluminescence, chromatography and the water cycle.
Sea, Stars, and S’more! 6-7:30 p.m. April 22, Town Center Park, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach. Activities about sea turtles, stargazing and enjoy s’mores.
Statewide Star Party: Dismal Swamp State Park 6-9 p.m. April 22, Dismal Swamp State Park, 2294 U.S. 17 N., South Mills. Stargazing, hands-on activities and a 2-mile wagon ride through a scale model solar system.
Full STEAM Ahead at Brunswick Community College 9:30 a.m.-noon April 23, Brunswick Community College – Odell Williamson Auditorium, 50 College Road, Bolivia. Explore science concepts launching a rocket, making art with plant pigments and powering a boat with soap.
Oyster Reef Inventory 3:30 p.m. April 23, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Full STEAM Ahead at Craven Community College 6-8 p.m. April 24, Craven Community College – Perdue Building, 800 College Court, New Bern. Explore science concepts launching a rocket, making art with plant pigments and powering a boat with soap.
Smart Science Extravaganza 3 p.m. April 26, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Hands-on science experiments.
Animal Eggs 2 p.m. April 27, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.
Welcome to STEAMSCAPE 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 28, Elizabeth City State University, 1704 Weeksville Road, Elizabeth City. For middle and high school students. Registration information will be sent to the area’s local middle and high schools. Teacher recommendations will be required.
N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island Bioblitz 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 28-May 1, North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, 374 Airport Road, Manteo. Make an aquarium ticket reservation and find a table with Bioblitz related activities outside and inside to encourage participation in the citizen-science event.
N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher Bioblitz 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 28-May 1, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach. Make a reservation and find a table with Bioblitz-related activities inside to encourage participation in this citizen-science event.
Carnival to Combat Climate Change 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 29, North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores.
Butterfly BINGO 2 p.m. April 30, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.