Who will help save Humpty Dumpty? Catawba Science Center to host an Egg Drop

Egg DropDo you think you can keep an egg safe from a drop off a two-story building? In conjunction with the Light Moves and Qualities of Light exhibitions, CSC and the HMA would like to see if you have the skills to safeguard a raw egg from certain destruction. High-speed photography will capture the moment of impact and help us examine the cushioning ability of various containers. CSC is hosting an Egg Drop at the SALT Block on April 12, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors will have one hour to construct their best homemade egg safety device beginning at 10 a.m. in the Inventor’s Workshop. Starting at 11 a.m., visitors who participate in this fun-family activity will test their creation at a specified drop area. The goal for each participant is to keep their egg intact. Andrew Szafarczyk and Keyence Corporation will provide a special camera to record the egg’s demise or survival at the moment of impact. All supplies and eggs will be included with your CSC General Admission purchase.

Light Moves is supported by CommScope, Corning Optical Communications, Prysmian Group and US Conec, and a media partnership with Kicks 103.3; the Catawba Valley’s number one country station. Light Moves is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members.

 

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Light Moves opens April 5, 2014

LightMovesLargeOn April 5, 2014, Catawba Science Center (CSC) opens Light Moves, a new exhibit, in the Edgerton Gallery. CSC has joined with the Hickory Museum of Art (HMA), CommScope, Corning Optical Communications, Prysmian Group and US Conec to create an exhibit about the impact light plays in our lives. Visitors can experiment with reflecting and refracting light as they learn the scientific principles of light. Additional displays demonstrate these principles in use in fiber optic communication devices.

Light Moves includes highlights from the career and life of Doctor “Doc” Harold Edgerton, the pioneer and inventor of high speed and strobe photography. Over 30 samples of Doc Edgerton’s work are on display from the HMA. In conjunction withLight Moves, two exhibits, The Qualities of Light I (now through  July 15) andThe Qualities of Light II (April 16 – September 21), will be on display at the HMA.

Visitors will learn how light plays an important role in our everyday lives. Every interactive display shows how light can be reflected, redirected, condensed, controlled and manipulated. Individuals will walk away with a new appreciation of light and its limitless uses. Participants will be able to do everything from stop water droplets in mid-air to make light follow a stream of water. They can be able to steer laser beams and draw images with a fiber optic cable.

The Light Moves exhibit will be on display through October 26, 2014 in the Edgerton Gallery.

This exhibition is supported by CommScope, Corning Optical Communications, Prysmian Group and US Conec, and a media partnership with Kicks 103.3; the Catawba Valley’s number one country station. Light Moves is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members.

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Wicked Weather Family Day

Wicked Weather Family DayIn conjunction with Wicked Plants: The Exhibit, Catawba Science Center (CSC) is welcoming a real groundhog to the SALT Block on February 1, 2014, for the Wicked Weather Family Day. Visitors will get a chance to meet Miss Odessa (Odie), a live groundhog from 11 AM to Noon, do various weather related activities from 10 AM to 4 PM and view special showings of Force 5: Weather Unleashed in the Millholland Planetarium at 1 PM and 3 PM.

During her visit, Odie will make her prediction for the next six weeks of weather. Guests will also get a chance to meet Odie and learn about her habits. Be prepared to arrive early, Odie will only be in attendance for a short time period.

After seeing
t
he prognosticating pest, visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about weather by participating in numerous hands-on activities in the North Lobby and Inventor’s Workshop. Potential meteorologists will learn how to identify different varieties of clouds and the weather associated with them. Visitors will also become familiar with several tools used to measure weather and see lightning up close!

Guests who want to experience high winds safely can venture down to the Earthwatch Center and enter CSC’s Tornado Simulator, for an additional fee. Daring participants will become familiar with excessively high winds in this interactive exhibit. The Tornado Simulator produces winds in excess of 78 MPH and provides a great photo opportunity for anyone willing to enter.

Lead Naturalist Bruce Beerbower with Miss Odessa (Odie) the groundhog

 

After learning about groundhogs, clouds, weather and being blown away by tornado force winds, those in attendance will have an opportunity to see Wicked Weather in action. CSC will show two special presentations of Force 5: Weather Unleashed in the Millholland Planetarium. Extreme weather takes center stage in this full dome animated show revealing images not seen by the naked eye due to their life-threatening nature. Using real movies and NASA based images; Force Five offers the audience a vantage that would never be safe in the real world, creating a sense of what it would look and feel like if you were standing in the middle of a deadly storm. Planetarium show admission is $2 for members and $3 for non-members.

Thanks to the generous support of von Drehle Corporation and Shurtape, many of the activities associated with the Wicked Weather Family Day and Wicked Plants: The Exhibit are included in CSC’s General Admission rates, and admission is always free for CSC Members. For more information about Catawba Science Center’s latest exhibits, events, Summer Fun hands-on science camps, programs and membership visit CatawbaScience.org or call 828/322-8169. Wicked Plants: The Exhibit was developed by the North Carolina Arboretum. Please visit them in Asheville, NC. 

 

Meet Author Amy Stewart

MeetAmyStewartPPslide

 

 

Catawba Science Center (CSC) is proud to announce the visit of New York Times Best Selling author Amy Stewart to the SALT Block on October 26, 2014. During her visit Amy Stewart will talk about her award winning book Wicked Plants: The Plant that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities in the Keiser Community Room at 5:30 p.m. Following the talk, Ms. Stewart will sign copies of her books for the guests in attendance. This book was the inspiration for CSC’s latest attraction Wicked Plants: The Exhibit.

CSC is honored to welcome Amy Stewart to the SALT Block and Hickory, NC. She travels the country as a highly sought-after public speaker whose spirited lectures have inspired and entertained audiences at college campuses such as Cornell and the University of Minnesota, corporate offices, including Google’s Mountainview campus, conferences and trade shows, botanical gardens, bookstores, and garden clubs nationwide.

 

Ms. Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers, The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential.  She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown. They own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Booksand tend a flock of unruly hens in their backyard.

 

Amy has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines. She is the co-founder of the popular blog GardenRant and is a contributing editor at Fine Gardening magazine.

 

Admission to the talk and book signing are free. Space is limited to 200 and CSC will have copies of Amy Stewart’s books onsite for sale thanks to Barnes & Noble of Hickory.

 

Thanks the generous support of von Drehle Corporation and Shurtape, Wicked Plants: The Exhibit is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members

 

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Wicked Clue, Can your family solve the mystery?

Wicked Clue

 

The diabolical botanicals in Catawba Science Center’s (CSC) latest attraction, Wicked Plants:The Exhibit, are on the attack and they have claimed  a new victim in Carpenter Hall. CSC is sending out an all points bulletin to all the aspiring detectives and their families to visit the Science Center on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. and help solve the mystery.

Inspired by the popular board game Clue, Wicked Plants: The Exhibit and the book Wicked Plants: The Plant that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, Wicked Clue Family Day is sure to keep crime scene investigators entertained. Guests will meet game characters portrayed by volunteer actors from Catawba Valley Community Colleges’ Drama Department, walk through an old Victorian mansion examining the clues and gathering facts to solve this classic who done it? with a horticultural twist. Visitors will have to solve three main facts: Who committed the crime? Where the crime was committed? and What botanical was used in the murder?

There are many possibilities but only one solution. CSC will provide the mystery, the family fun and the clue collection sheets. Visitors will have to bring their investigative fortitude and moxie to solve this shameful deed. For those individuals brave enough to take on the challenge of solving the crime and catching this dastardly criminal a special reward awaits you.

Designed to educate the public and increase science literacy, Wicked Plants: The Exhibit exposes plants associated with a myriad of negative health effects, including addiction, obesity, allergies, pain, poisoning, cognitive impairment, organ failure, and even death. Showcasing more than 100 plants, the exhibit takes an open- ended approach to health education, providing visitors with an opportunity to weigh the risks of utilizing specific wicked plants.

Thanks the generous support of von Drehle Corporation and Shurtape, admission into Wicked Plants: The Exhibit is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members.

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Catawba Science Center Presents a Free Showing of Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice SlideShow

On Monday, October 28, 2013 at 7 p.m., Catawba Science Center (CSC) will host a free screening of the award winning documentary Chasing Ice in the SALT Block Auditorium. After the viewing of this eye-opening movie there will be a facilitated conversation with Appalachian State University (ASU) professor Dr. Gregg Marland.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change current trends and possibly opinions by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, James Balog’s videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

In the spring of 2005, Balog, a National Geographic photographer, headed to the Arctic Circle to capture images of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of the academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes and sparked a challenged with in him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappeared at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

At the conclusion of the free showing, Dr. Marland will answer submitted questions about global warming. CSC is proud to welcome him and his vast knowledge about the fossil fuels and environment to the SALT Block. Dr. Marland is well versed on this topic and is currently a research professor at ASU’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics.

His credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in General Science from Virginia Polytechnical Institute, a Masters in Geology from the Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a Doctorate in Geology from the University of Minnesota. He has been on several committees on global warming including the National Research Council, Committee on Methods for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2008-2010; U.S. Interagency Carbon Cycle Science Working Group, co-chair, 2008-2011; National Research Council, Committee on Global Change Research, 2000-2002 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His numerous publications have focused on fossil fuels, emissions and climate change.

To allow for effective dialogue and to have an effective flow of discussion to the evening, CSC is requesting that questions be submitted by email to marketing@catawbascience.org. Pen and paper will also be available at the event.

Doors to CSC and the auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and based upon a first come basis.

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Wicked Plants: The Exhibit to open at Catawba Science Center September 24th.

 

According to author Amy Stewart, “Some people dream about their book getting made into a movie, but I dream about it getting made into a traveling cabinet of wonders.” Stewart’s dream is coming true as Wicked Plants: The Exhibit opens at 10 AM on September, 24, 2013 in Carpenter Hall at Catawba Science Center (CSC).

The new exhibit will introduce visitors to the evildoers lurking in their own backyards and beyond. Inspired by Stewart’s book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities, the exhibit gives visitors a hands-on experience with some of the world’s most diabolical botanicals—without the risk of intoxication, addiction, dismemberment, or other danger. Menacing interactive displays set in an eerie environment are designed to educate and entertain children and adults with information about some of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations.

Designed to educate the public and increase science literacy, Wicked Plants exposes plants associated with a myriad of negative health effects, including addiction, obesity, allergies, pain, poisoning, cognitive impairment, organ failure, and even death. Showcasing more than 100 plants, the exhibit takes an open- ended approach to health education, providing visitors with an opportunity to weigh the risks of utilizing specific wicked plants.

Visitors will step into a macabre world where plants hold the power. Poisonous, carnivorous, or just plain nasty, the diabolical botanicals represented throughout Wicked Plants are shown in all their fearful glory. Guests will be introduced to infamous plants that have left their mark on history and claimed many an unfortunate victim.

Upon entering a decrepit old home, guests will be introduced to the crime family of the plant world, the deadly Nightshades. A veritable rogue’s gallery features portraits of these intriguing characters who beguile unsuspecting victims. In the conservatory, weeds of mass destruction have taken over, while a crime scene in the potions laboratory teaches that things aren’t always what they seem, especially in the plant world.

A supper served in the dining room could be a visitor’s last. Guests will discover that even the most mundane foods can be poisonous under certain circumstances. The terrible toxicodendrons in the parlor can really get under a visitor’s skin. From poison ivy to poison arrows, the collection of weaponry in the hallway uses plant derivatives to immobilize and even kill prey.

The social misfits of the plant world are relegated to the bathroom. Visitors will find botanicals that smell foul, and even some that catch fire. Plants in the yard are on the offensive: some secrete sap, some produce exploding fruit, and some have stems that embed into skin. Unruly and altogether mean, these plants are on the attack.

Thanks the generous support of von Drehle Corporation and Shurtape, admission into Wicked Plants: The Exhibit is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members. For more information about CatawbaScienceCenter’s latest exhibits, events, programs and membership visit CatawbaScience.org or call 828/322-8169.

 Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions including temporary exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at http://www.CatawbaScience.org.

CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative. CSC is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. 

 

 

 

Wicked Plants Events:

OCTOBER 26th, 11AM – 3 PM

Wicked Clue: Solve the Mystery

OCTOBER 26th, Special Event 5:30 PM

Meet Wicked Plants Author Amy Stewart

NOVEMBER 30th, 10 AM – 4 PM

Holiday Greenings Family Day

FEBRUARY 1st, 10 AM – 4 PM

Ground Hog & Weather Family Day

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized
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Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund underwrites Free Fridays at Catawba Science Center

Checkpresentation2013Since the inauguration of a general admission fee in 1996, the Catawba Science Center (CSC) has set aside select Free Fridays as days when all visitors (except organized groups of 10 or more) may enter CSC free of charge. This inclusive program allows everyone, regardless of financial means, the opportunity to experience hands-on learning through CSC’s exciting permanent and traveling exhibitions.

CSC would like to thank the Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund, a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation, for the continued support of the Free Friday program. This year’s generous grant to CSC follows a similar grant that the Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund provided in 2012. Alan Barnhardt, CSC’s Executive Director said, “The impact of this program goes beyond the doors of our facility and out into the local area. The Unifour Foundation has proven they have the community’s welfare in mind by providing free access to science education.” 

Free Friday visitors echo Barnhardt’s comments- many indicate on survey cards and in conversations with CSC staff that they would not be able to bring their families to CSC without the Free Friday program. Some parents have even reported using Free Fridays as a reward for their children when they do well in school or complete other tasks – like memorizing their multiplication tables. Without the support of Unifour Foundation and other Free Friday sponsors, many families and children would miss the opportunity to visit CSC.   

During the past year, the contributions made by several organizations and individuals, including the Unifour Foundation’s grant, have provided thousands of children and their families the opportunity to learn about conservation, meteors and asteroids, nature, physics, chemistry, animals and butterflies. Support from the Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund will continue to provide Free Friday access to our entire community into fall when the new exhibition Wicked Plants will be on display. This temporary exhibit was inspired by Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities. CSC is seeking additional sponsors to underwrite the Free Friday program through the winter and spring.

CSC’s Free Friday program is an ongoing endeavor to give the local community access to science. If you are interested in helping CSC, “Change lives and inspire learning through science and wonder”, please contact Katherine Jeffords, CSC’s Director of Development, at 828/322-8169 x 313, dev@catawbascience.org or visit http://www.CatawbaScience.org for more information about membership, sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities.

The Unifour Foundation was established through the benevolence of the Hickory Merchants Association. The Unifour Foundation’s Endowment Fund promotes general welfare among citizens in the four counties that comprise the Unifour area: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba. The Unifour Foundation Endowment is part of the Catawba Valley Community Foundation—the local affiliate of the statewide North Carolina Community Foundation.  The Catawba Valley Community Foundation has 51 endowment funds with nearly $12 million in total assets. For information on the Unifour Foundation Endowment or the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, contact John Francis, NCCF Regional Associate, at 828-328-1237; email at jfrancis@nccommunityfoundation.org or visit the NCCF website at nccommunityfoundation.org.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions including temporary exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at http://www.CatawbaScience.org.

CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative. CSC is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Stories

Catawba Science Center accepts all exhibits and members from The Health Adventure in Asheville

Delivery personnel from Queen Transportation unload the exhibits from Health Adventure of Asheville in a storage facility provided by Classic Leather.

Delivery personnel from Queen Transportation unload the exhibits from Health Adventure of Asheville in a storage facility provided by Classic Leather.

Recently, Health Adventures in Asheville reluctantly closed their doors after serving the Western North Carolina region for 45 years. Over the years, the organization developed into a one-of-a-kind children’s science and health learning center. The Health Adventure closure came due to a reorganization of lease spaces at the Biltmore Square Shopping Center and reduction in funding from the NC General Assembly.

Upon notification of the closure, Catawba Science Center (CSC) reached out to offer support to the Health Adventure and its members. As part of their support, CSC will move all of Health Adventure’s exhibits to Hickory for safe keeping and Health Adventure’s members will be offered reciprocal CSC Member discounts and admission.Alan Barnhardt, CSC’s Executive Director, was upset and saddened by the news of the Health Adventure closure, “It deserved the community’s support, but was told by the owner of Biltmore Square shopping center that it was no longer welcome. Additionally, decreased funding by the NC General Assembly and new taxes proved to be the final factors forcing closure. We hope Asheville will muster support and start a new science center within the next few years. CSC is prepared to return the exhibits at that time.”

While CSC is constantly seeking support for its own science education programs, Barnhardt noted how Hickory has embraced its mission of Changing Lives and Inspiring Learning through Science and Wonder. The organization is able to provide quality science experiences because of the support of many individuals, businesses and foundations. Its location on the SALT Block, in close proximity to Hickory’s main downtown area, is convenient to children and their families from throughout the region. The SALT Block is a cultural center that provides space for Catawba Science Center and its Millholland Planetarium and aquarium, as well as the Hickory Museum Art, the Hickory Choral Society, the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, the United Arts Council, and the Western Piedmont Symphony.

CSC would like to acknowledge special support for the moving of exhibitions from Asheville thanks to partners Queen Transportation, LLC for shipping and Tommy Shores of Classic Leather for helping CSC identify a location to store the exhibits. While the exhibits are in Hickory, CSC will have the opportunity to use them at its discretion. CSC is already planning a health exhibit in order to fill the void left by the closing of Health Adventure.  The exhibit is planned to open in the spring of 2014. 

On the outpouring of support from the Hickory Community, Barnhardt said, “It takes a village to support a science center that inspires our youth to learn about science.”

By catawbasciencecenter Posted in Uncategorized

Register Now for Summer Fun Science Camp

Catawba Science Center, a nonprofit science and technology museum in Hickory, is taking registrations for its annual Summer Fun Science Camp, June 11 through August 24, offering 11 weeks of hands-on science learning for youth in grades pre-K through rising ninth grade.

Summer Fun science classes will be held Mondays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. until noon. atCatawbaScienceCenter. Extended day options are available for busy schedules.

 Pre-K through Sixth Grade

Participants can choose from 11 weeks of hands-on, fun-filled science classes designed for specific age groups in grades Pre-K to rising sixth-graders. Each week features a different class theme.

New classes include: Fish Tales and Diggin’ Dinosaurs (Pre-K & K), Rainforest Romp and A Buggy Lunch (first & second grade), Cretaceous Creatures and Body Language (third & fourth grade) Dino Discoveries and On the Brink (fifth & sixth grade).

Seventh through Ninth Grade

Summer Fun Science Camp also includes offerings for youth in grades seventh through ninth. Weeklong classes include: Chemistry Basics (June 11 – 15), Aqua Marine (July 16 – 20), Monkey Jr. Naturalist For a Week (July 23 – 27) and You Are What You Eat (August 6 – 10).

A full list of science classes, fees and registration forms are available for download at www.CatawbaScience.org on the Science Camps page. Registration is first-come, first-served by pre-payment.

For busy parents, CSC offers early arrival (7:30 to 10 a.m.) and Afternoon Adventures (noon to 5:30 p.m.) options for an additional cost.

Classes are filling up quickly. For more information, or to register, call (828) 322-8169 or visit www.CatawbaScience.org.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum in the Western Piedmont with traveling exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and North Carolina’s only marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at http://www.CatawbaScience.org.

CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.