‘Star party’ to open N.C. Science Festival events

Western Carolina University will participate in the statewide 2013 N.C. Science Festival with a stargazing event Friday, April 5, and an open house Saturday, April 13.

The events are free and open to the public.

Enrique Gomez, faculty member in the WCU Department of Chemistry and Physics, will lead a stargazing event beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 5 at the Jackson County Airport. The public can view stars, planets and the comet PANSTARRS through a provided telescope. The event, which will be canceled in the event of overcast weather, is part of a statewide “Star Party” to kick off Science Festival activities.

The WCU College of Arts and Sciences will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 13 in WCU’s Stillwell and Natural Science buildings. The event is for all ages and will include displays and activities from WCU’s biology, chemistry and forensic science programs as well as Highlands Biological Station.

A “LEGO Summit” is among open house activities. The workshop will run from 9:15 to noon on the fourth floor of the Stillwell Building and is for children in first through eighth grades and their parents. All LEGO materials will be provided and participants will have hands-on experience with the LEGO robotics systems. Hosts include the LEGO Club at Fairview School and the Junior First LEGO League teams of Cullowhee Valley School and Mountain Discovery Charter School.

Participants are encouraged to register beforehand for the LEGO workshop online at http://legosummit2013.eventbrite.com. For more information about the LEGO workshop, contact Larissa Miller at tobiasandlarissa@gmail.com or Pam Myers at pamcmyers@gmail.com.

For more information about the N.C. Science Festival at WCU, contact Patricia A. Foley, associate professor in the WCU Department of Chemistry and Physics, at pfoley@wcu.edu or 828-227-3683.