N.C. Science Festival events in the area

The 2014 North Carolina Science Festival continues through April 13 with hundreds of events, activities and lectures offered statewide. Check for details, including any costs.

Here are some upcoming highlights.

April 1: Mary Lou Maher, chair of the UNC Charlotte’s Department of Software and Information Systems, will give a free talk about her work in studying computer systems designed to maximize human interactivity. “Tangible Creativity” begins at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of UNCC’s Bioinformatics Building .

April 2: Science historian/journalist Amy Shira Teitel will give a free public lecture – “How NASA Designed its Moon Mission” – at 7 p.m. in UNCC’s EPIC G256.

April 3: Michael Walter, associate professor in UNCC’s Department of Chemistry, will present “Organic Approaches to Solar Energy” at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the talk, in Room 105 of the UNCC’s Bioinformatics Building.

April 5: From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Zucchini 500 will be staged at Hilbish Ford, in Kannapolis. Kid-built race cars made with zucchini will compete on a 16-foot track for prizes. It’s free to see.

Inside Out: A Day of Dissection is a different kind of hands-on program. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St., you can learn about body systems of animals (cadavers of a shark, frog or fetal pig) as they’re taken apart. A different specimen will be dissected each hour.

Events at Science Family Fun Night at ImaginOn, 300 E. Seventh St., includes science story time and fun activities at the children’s library and theater. It’s free and is 1 to 3 p.m.

The Star Party at Gastonia’s Schiele Museum gets going at 7 p.m. Besides scanning the heavens for stars and planets, visit the planetarium for a presentation of the original program “Nightwatch: The Universe from Your Back Yard.”

April 6: The UNCC Charlotte Science Film Series offers free screenings of four notable sci-fi films, each followed by a panel discussion by scientists and other authorities about how close to (or far from) reality the movie may be. At 3 p.m. in UNCC’s EPIC G256 is 1993’s “Jurassic Park,” with a discussion by UNCC biologists Susan Peters and Adam Reitzel and genomic scientist Jennifer Weller). Staff reports