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2024 MSEN Day

Two people hold up a large red and gold trophy. One is a student. One is an adult. They are both wearing red shirts, as part of the same team.
An MSEN student poses with MSEN Project Coordinator Anthony Bowser. NC State MSEN students took first place in many of the high school competitions including the parachute egg drop, poster art, quiz bowl and water rocketry. They also won the overall competition day and took home the first prize trophy for MSEN Day.

On April 13, 122 students from across the state competed in academic and STEM-based activities as part of MSEN Day, an event created and hosted by the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Pre-College Program (MSEN). MSEN Day is a statewide STEM competition that holds competitive events ranging from academic math and science competitions to hands-on STEM activities such as water bottle rockets, a parachute egg drop, an oratorical contest and a quiz bowl.

“MSEN day was fun,” said Jeremiah Twitty, a Neal Middle School student. “It reminded me of a carnival with learning and team challenges.  I appreciate the teachers, staff and volunteers who made this event possible.”

The event was held at NC State University this year but usually rotates between participating UNC system universities–Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Winston-Salem State University.

“For 20 years in my role as the MSEN director, MSEN Day is always the highlight of my year!” said Braska Williams, MSEN director at the Friday Institute. “It’s empowering to see so many students of color competing in STEM competitions. At this event, I’m witnessing the next generation of engineers, research scientists and technology developers.”

MSEN is a STEM enrichment program that recruits students from underserved populations in grades six through 12 and provides them with experiences that will equip them to attend a four-year college to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The NC State chapter of MSEN partners with school districts and schools in northeastern and central North Carolina. It is housed at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation located on NC State’s Centennial Campus and is a part of the NC State College of Education. Learn more about this year’s MSEN Day below.

An auditorium filled with students wearing different colored t-shirts: red, blue, black and white.
2024 MSEN Day included students across the state from all four MSEN program sites on UNC system universities, including Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Winston-Salem State University.
A middle school student wearing blue latex gloves builds a wood structure with wood glue.
Two students in matching green shirts hold up a science project: a 2-liter bottle with paper fins.
Two students in matching blue shirts kneel in the grass next to a machine with buttons.
Two students in matching white and red shirts wear blue latex gloves while working on a woodworking project.
Three students in matching red shirts featuring "NCSU" stand in a group wearing red, white and blue medals.
NC State student workers and work-study students help MSEN program staff run all Saturday Academy events and MSEN Day.
Two students work on an engineering woodworking project together on a table.
Two students work with a mentor who is pouring water into 2-liter bottles with fins.
A woman in a blue and red Lenovo t-shirt holds a microphone.
Lenovo is an MSEN partner who supports the program both financially and with volunteers who support MSEN programs and events by serving as mentors, judges, tutors and facilitators.
A group of middle school/high school aged students in blue t-shirts hold up ziploc bags willed with candy and prizes.
A table of red, white and blue medals.
A group of students in green shirts with "CHAR" prominently feature wear red, white and blue medals around their necks.
Three female students wear white and red t-shirts with their school as the dominant text, WSSU. They re all wearing red, white and blue medals around their necks.