JEFFERSON — The fifth annual Homeschool SciDay brought children from all across the High Country, Southwest Virginia and Eastern Tennessee to Family Central on Wednesday for a day of fun and learning.
“I have always been a science educator and since I became a home-school mom, I just found a different avenue to do it with,” said event organizer Vicki Randolph. “Every year we have done this it has just gotten bigger and bigger and we’ve outgrown every space we’ve tried to have.”
The event is associated with the North Carolina Science Festival that takes place each year throughout the state April 8-24.
“This is the largest collaboration of scientists on the planet. There’s close to 500 events around the state from April 8 through the 24th,” said Randolph.
“SciDay” started out at the old fellowship hall at Bald Mountain Baptist Church which quickly grew to using almost the entire church until moving the event to Family Central for the first time this year.
Throughout the state, 99 of the 100 counties in North Carolina will hold a similar event during the 17-day N.C. Science Festival. This event was also the first statewide science festival of its kind and has had over 1,000,000 participants since its inception in 2010.
“I just like to share my passion for science with the kid and get them involved and learning at an early age so that they realize that science is all around them,” Randolph said. “These kids are our future, they’re going to be building our future and I just hope that this event can grow their interest in science, technology, engineering and math.”
Several departments from Appalachian State University took part in the science demonstrations at Family Central, including the geography department that released a weather balloon.
Other groups represented at the event included the Ashe County Rescue Squad, New River Soil and Water Conservation, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, North Carolina State Parks and the North Carolina Forestry Service.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87