UNCW to Host the Southeast Regional Engineering & Science Fair Feb. 15 and the North Carolina Science Olympiad Regional Competition March 7

Friday, February 14, 2020

The UNCW Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will welcome about 1,000 regional K-12 students as well as teachers, families and community volunteers to campus Feb.15 and March 7 for events that support STEM education.

On Feb. 15, about 200 K-12 students from Sampson, Wayne, Craven, Pamlico, Jones, Onslow, Duplin, Carteret, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties will join UNCW faculty, staff, students and community members at the Education Building to showcase nearly 140 science and engineering projects during the Regional Engineering & Science Fair.

On March 7, UNCW will host the North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) regional competition. More than 800 K-12 students are expected to compete in the Science Olympiad, which includes a series of challenging and interactive inquiry-based events that explore the areas of biology, earth and environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering and technology.

Both the Regional Engineering & Science Fair and NCSO’s regional competition celebrate students’ passion for science and technology while also teaching them critical thinking skills and enhancing their ability to be innovative problem solvers, said Carmen Sidbury, director of CESTEM, part of the Watson College of Education.

“These events bring some of our best and brightest students from our region to campus to showcase their STEM content knowledge and critical thinking skills,” she said.

Many UNCW faculty provide access to teaching and research spaces to host the activities throughout campus for these events, Sidbury said, adding that she enjoys witnessing the level of commitment that community members and UNCW faculty and staff have for the students participating in these events.

“In addition to the technical knowledge and skills students acquire, I hope they take pride in their accomplishments to date and know that a whole ecosystem of caring and committed adults are here to support them,” Sidbury said. “We hope the feedback, interactions and support provided gives them the confidence to pursue their dreams and compete on stages at the state, national and international level.”

According to Sidbury, CESTEM plans to expand the reach of the NCSO regional competition by showcasing programs available for aspiring STEM scholars from the local area. Organizations are invited to set up displays that inform the students and families about their programs. Contact for more information.

More information about the Regional Science & Engineering Fair is available here. More information about the NCSO is available here.


--Alex Churchill ’21