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Connecting Nature, Art, and Science at the 2017 Mountain Science Expo

Photo of leaves and paint brushes in a rainbow of colors
Courtesy of the North Carolina Arboretum

We’re excited to be participating in the Mountain Science Expo for a sixth year! The theme of this year’s Expo is “The Nature of Design,” and the event will focus on connecting nature, art, and science. And, nearly 30 organizations in western North Carolina will participate to conduct hands-on activities, provide interactive demonstrations, and showcase the active science community in the mountains.

Fun Activities with Our Scientists and Partners

In partnership with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites–North Carolina (CICS-NC), we’ll be conducting a hands-on art project involving the beauty of clouds. Participants will learn about the various types of clouds—from cirrus to stratus to cumulonimbus. Then, with their own artistic flair, they’ll use arts and crafts supplies to recreate the look of different cloud types.

We’ll also be distributing a wide variety of NOAA’s educational materials to help attendees better understand the depth and breadth of our work.

Join us at the Expo to see where science, art, and nature interconnect in your everyday life:

  • When: Saturday, April 8, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Where: The North Carolina Arboretum

Any person or group may attend without registering. Tickets for free parking are available at Buncombe County libraries. To kickoff the Expo, an open house for teachers will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7.

Have Lunch with a Scientist

Participants in the ecoEXPLORE program, developed by the North Carolina Arboretum, will also be invited to have “Lunch with a Scientist” during the Expo. NCEI meteorologist, Greg Hammer, will be one of the scientists dining with ecoEXPLOERErs. And, he’ll be talking about phenology or the influence climate has on the recurrence of natural animal and plant life phenomena like plant budding and bird migrations.

The ecoEXPLORE, or Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education, program promotes citizen science for children in grades K–8 who reside in western North Carolina. The program encourages children to take photo observations of plants and animals across the region and submit them for use by real scientists. Participants can earn prizes and meet scientists to conduct field work when they submit their observations.

About the Mountain Science Expo

The Mountain Science Expo, which is part of the statewide North Carolina Science Festival held each April, attracted 1,500 attendees last year despite unseasonably cold weather. The statewide Festival highlights the educational, cultural, and financial impact of science in North Carolina. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits, and performances, the Festival engages a wide range of public audiences, while inspiring future generations to pursue science-related careers.

Most importantly, scientists want everyone to know what they know—science is fun!