Academic departments hosting ‘Science at the Market Day’ in Sylva on April 8

Students and faculty members from Western Carolina University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics and Department of Biology will be hosting “Science at the Market Day” on Saturday, April 8, at the Jackson County Farmers Market in downtown Sylva.

The free, family friendly event will be held from 8 a.m. until noon. Farmers market visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the sciences of sustainable farming practices and butter-making, the chemistry of dyes used in local crafts, insect pollination and other topics, said Enrique Gomez, WCU associate professor of physics and astronomy.

The farmers market is located at Bridge Park on Railroad Avenue in Sylva.

“This event will feature joint presentations with local growers and university scientists on the science of plants, animals and local crafts, and will include hands-on activities for children where they will study the structure of plants through microscopes, the science behind craft dyes and the physics of pottery wheels,” Gomez said. The younger children can learn about pollination and bees and complete a scavenger hunt, in addition to visiting the farmers market booths to interact with vendors. If weather permits, a solar telescope will be set up for safe solar viewing, he said.

“Science at the Market Day” is one of more than 400 public events being held across North Carolina as part of the seventh annual N.C. Science Festival, which runs April 7-23. The event is Sylva has been named a “festival favorite” by the N.C. Science Festival, which focuses on fun and interactive science learning opportunities for people of all ages. More information about the festival is available at

For more information about “Science at the Market Day,” contact Gomez at 828-227-2718.