NC Science Centers Offer Classes
Science centers in North Carolina offer great resources to homeschoolers. They support home education by providing reinforcement for the science concepts students are learning through their home education programs. They have hands-on activities and displays, special themed events and classes and workshops.
Costs of the activities and classes vary, and some of them, like the Teen Science Cafe, in Chapel Hill are free of charge.
If you haven’t visited a Science center lately, you should check one out. I hope you have one in your area, but if not, they are worth a taking a day trip to experience!
Here are some places you may discover your kids love to explore:
Catawba Science Center
Homeschool classes begin Sept. 13, 2016 at the Catawba Science Center, On The SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue North East, Hickory, NC 28603. Catawba Science Center offers hands-on learning and interactive exhibits that explore physical, natural, and earth sciences.
Homeschool classes offer enriching science opportunities for preschool through high school learners in geology, biology, astronomy, environmental science, and more! Classes are designed to complement the age appropriate North Carolina Common Core and Essential Standards for Science.
CSC offers science classes for students in grades pre-K through eighth, and high school. For classes for pre-K – 8 you can choose the Tuesday or Wednesday in the third week of each month. High schoolers meet Wednesdays in the third week of each month. All classes meet from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
- Preschool – 8th Grade classes cost $15 per class, or $120 entire year for members and $25 per class or $200 for the entire year of classes if you are not a member.
- High School classes are $20 per class for members and $30 per class for non-members.
If you have any questions, Please contact Erin Graves, CSC Director of Programs at 828-322-8169 or EMAIL her.
Registration and the homeschool guide for the 2016-2017 school year can be downloaded HERE.
Discovery Place – Mecklenburg County
Discovery Place Homeschool programs include engaging science classes on a new topic every month. The classes meet from 1 – 2:30 p.m. on Mondays from September to June.
They have state-of-the-art labs and classrooms and the classes are taught by trained science educators.
Classes are geared toward three different age groups and are scheduled at the same time, which makes it super convenient for families with children of various ages to learn together at Charlotte’s Discovery Place. Curriculum aligns with North Carolina Standard Course of Study and with National Science Standards and is planned for groups in grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8.
Pick up their 2016-2017 education guide at their website for the details about topics, workshops and for the program schedule.
Homeschool program inquiries can be made at 704-372-6261 extension 300, or you can register for classes by phone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – for more information you can also visit their website by clicking HERE.
Greensboro Science Center – Guilford County
NEW! Homeschool Science Classes for students aged 12-15 are new this year at Greensboro Science Center!
Beginning October 6 and ending November 10, 2016 get ready for hands-on science labs with a focus on the properties of waves, the effects of forces on motion, forms of energy and the properties of matter.
Each class will build on the other so plan to attend all six sessions: Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3, 10
Cost is $72 for members or $108 for non-members.
You can mail in the registration form to the attention of Courtney Vass. Fax it to her at 336-288-2531, or drop it off at the Science Center. Call Courtenay Vass at 336-288-3769 ext. 1389 if you have any other questions.
Register your middle school student ASAP, since this is limited to 12 students and they need at least 6.
GSO also offers classes for preschoolers and for Homeschoolers in other age groups: Homeschool Adventures for ages 5-11, this semester, includes topics such as rockets, the science of motion, trees, the human body, bats, bees and more. You can choose a five or seven class punch card out of our eight sessions and come for those classes you want to attend:
- Classes for ages 5-7 will meet Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m.- Sept. 28; Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16
- Ages 8-11 will meet on Thursdays from 9-11 a.m.on Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10, 17
Purchase a five class punch card for just $60 if you are a member or $90 if you are not a member. The seven class punch card can be purchased for $85 for members and $115 for non-members. If you have more than one child attending, your second child receives $10 off a five class punch and $15 off a seven class punch card purchase.
Download the Preschoolers Schedule HERE.
Download the Schedule for Ages 5-7 & 8-11 HERE.
SciWorks – Forsyth County
Once a month during the school year, SciWorks offers programs for homeschoolers. Group admission rates apply for each person in addition to the program costs.
- For families in Forsyth County, the cost of student admission is $3, one parent is free and the second parent costs $5.50. Planetarium shows and classroom programs are $5.50 per child in addition to the admission costs.
- For families that live outside of Forsyth, student admission is $5.50, one parent is free and the second parent is admitted for $5.50. Planetarium shows and classroom programs are $5.50 per child.
- These prices are in effect on any day that Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are in session. On Saturdays, summer months, school holidays, snow days, and teacher work days, regular admission rates apply.
- Proper home school ID and proof of Forsyth County residency required.
Homeschool classes correspond with North Carolina Essential Standards for Science.
You must pre-register with Christy Ferguson. You can contact her at 336-714-7105 or EMAIL her.
2016-2017 SciWorks Homeschool Program Schedule
Grades K-4 at 10 a.m.
- September 6, 2016 — What’s the Buzz
- October 4, 2016 — Geology at Work* meets at Vulcan Materials, 4401 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27105. All grades are at 10 a.m.
- November 1, 2016 — Nano Day (10 a.m. to Noon)
- December 6, 2016 — Melting Pot
- January 3, 2017 — Pop, Bubble, Fizz
- February 7, 2017 — Weather Wonders
- March 7, 2017— Earth, Moon, and Stars
- April 4, 2017 — All About Animals
- May 2, 2017 — Environmental Park Tour
Grades 5-9 at 11 a.m.
- September 6, 2016 — Habitat Helpers
- October 4, 2016 — Geology at Work*meets at Vulcan Materials, 4401 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27105. All grades are at 10 a.m.
- November 1, 2016 — Nano Day (10 a.m. to Noon)
- December 6, 2016 — Advanced Melting Pot
- January 3, 2017 — Magical Mixtures
- February 7, 2017 — Electricity and Light
- March 7, 2017— Space Exploration
- April 4, 2017 — Fur, Feather, Scale, and Slime
- May 2, 2017 — Science Extravaganza
You can download their educator’s guide HERE and CLICK HERE to visit the website.
Morehead Planetarium & Science Center – Orange County
Middle School Science Club
Middle schoolers can investigate the science of robots, dissect a shark and learn more about what makes us unique at Morehead’s Middle School Science Club (MSSC). Design experiments and meet real scientists with activities that are created to focus on specific interests of the group.
The club meets at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on Saturdays from 2:30-5 p.m. in the Fall and Spring. A snack is provided at each meeting, and the club will have a pizza party at the last meeting.
Middle School Science Club Schedule
- Fall 2016: Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Dec. 3, Dec. 17
- Spring 2017: Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18, March 4, March 25, April 8
The member price for the year is $250 and the non-member price is $290 which includes everything. You will need to register HERE for this program.
Teen Science Cafe’
Explore current science, talk with scientists about their work, meet other teens who like science as much as you do, share your ideas and find out what others think. Join the FREE Teen Science Café .
The program is just for young adults, ages 13-18. You don’t need to register, just join in on the second Friday of each month from September through May. Teens meet at 5:30 p.m. for pizza and then discussions and activities begin at 6 p.m. and end around 7:30 p.m. depending on the activity. To find the caf’e, you will need to enter the building through the visitors center at the west end of the building.
The next Teen Science Cafe’ will be Friday, September 9, 2016 and features conversation led by the director of the UNC Herbarium, Alan Weakley, about the origins of our food and where they are grown now.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is at 250 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
CLICK HERE to view the calendar.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – Wake
NC Museum of Natural Sciences at 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601, is the largest institution of its kind in the South East. There are tons of free and low-cost educational activities throughout the year; Science Saturdays, Family Science Nights, STEM and Wildlife events.
You can sign up for their homeschool email updates HERE or call for more information 919-707-9800.
CLICK HERE to see the calendar of events for homeschoolers.
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Other Homeschool Events
I post here about the events and activities that come to my attention and the facilities that have activities that are easy to find in my research on the web. I know there are smaller museums and events that I may miss if someone doesn’t point them out to me.
I blog and write articles about things going on around our state so that home educators (and even their, sometimes skeptical, extended families) can see how much support and how many resources are out there to help us educate (and yes, socialize) our children.
The more easily these great activities are able to be found in a search on the internet, the more likely that homeschoolers are going to find out about them.
So, as always, please let me know if your local Science Center has Homeschool Classes or special events that I should post about here.
You can use the contact form below, email me, call or contact me on Facebook. See my profile on the pages of the website for all my contact information, and thank you for helping me connect homeschoolers in North Carolina with resources so that we can all give our kids an exciting, high quality home education!