Scientist for a Day
The “Scientist for a Day” outreach effort began in 2015, a vision of Doug Vernon, Extension assistant. Several times a year, a select group of Kannapolis City Schools students are selected by their teachers based on their enthusiasm for science. These students–4th through 12th grade–spend a day at the Plants for Human Health Institute on the NC Research Campus where they meet scientists and have an opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments in the STEM Training Lab.
Until 2003, the Kannapolis economy was dominated by a textile mill. Many students were part of multi-generational families of mill workers. When the mill closed, the town lost part of its identity. When David Murdock laid out his plans for the NC Research Campus to become a biotechnology hub, it became clear that the property and the future of its citizens was being reimagined.
One goal of the Scientist for a Day program is to expose Kannapolis students to the exciting job opportunities and various career paths that are part of the research engine of a Tier 1 academic institution. We aim to inspire students to pursue their love of learning in STEM fields and maybe even become the next great scientist or engineer, right here in Kannapolis.