2018 North Carolina Science Festival to be Bigger, Longer

Published on
August 11, 2017

The North Carolina Science Festival (the Festival), produced by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and presented by Biogen, announced today that it is expanding its annual timeframe to span the month of April, starting in 2018.

Since the Festival began in 2010, it has been held within a two-week period sometime during the month of April. As the Festival grew in breadth and popularity -- in 2017, it had a presence in all 100 North Carolina counties -- it has been a challenge to limit all its events within two weeks.

"We just couldn't contain all the science fun and learning, more and more events were spilling into days just before or just after the designated two-week period," said Jonathan Frederick, director of the Festival. "Extending the Festival to a month makes sense for many reasons. It provides more flexibility for our event hosts, increases value for our sponsors and provides additional opportunities for more North Carolinians to participate."

The Festival, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and its impact on North Carolina, is the largest science festival in the nation and the first to encompass an entire state. In 2017, the Festival had 240,139 participants and 850 events at schools, museums, community centers, libraries, parks and other venues. Two astronauts, 5,218 volunteers and 2,743 STEM professionals contributed to its success.

The theme for the 2018 Festival is the "science of food and drink." Not all events need to adhere to the theme. Organizations looking for event ideas or interested in proposing an event can contact ncscifest@unc.edu to consult with Festival staff.

ABOUT MOREHEAD PLANETARIUM AND SCIENCE CENTER: Opened in 1949, Morehead was the first planetarium in the South, the first on the campus of a major research university and the sixth in the nation. Morehead provided training for America's astronauts during the Space Race, counts 11 moonwalkers among its "alumni" and has hosted more than eight million visitors. In 2001, Morehead added "Science Center" to its name to more fully reflect its mission. Since then, through its outreach programming, it has tripled the number of children and families served and nearly tripled revenues and support. Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is Morehead's largest outreach program, having served 1.8 million people of all ages since its inception.