CFCC’s “Chem-Techathon” invites local high school students to get hands-on experience with high-tech equipment

January 14th, 2015 by admin

Local high school students will get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment at Cape Fear Community College thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Tracy L. Holbrook, Chemical Technology Lead Instructor at CFCC, applied for the grant to support a three year project entitled CT-RISE:  Chem-Techathon:  Renewing Interest in Science Education.

The “Chem-Techathon” is a team-based competition event, that will engage high schools in New Hanover and Pender County to participate in a series of laboratory based hands-on activities, instrumentation training, and a small-scale, semester-long, research project.  At the conclusion of the competition, winning high school teams (those who place 1st, 2nd, and 3rd) will receive a prize package consisting of common glassware, chemicals, consumables, and supplies needed for their own laboratories.

This year, close to 90 grants were submitted by non-profit agencies, community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities across the state.  Only 14 proposals were awarded.  This makes the first time that a community college has received the award since 2009.

“I’m honored to have received this grant,” says Holbrook.  “The Chemical Technology program at Cape Fear Community College has lots to offer students who are looking for an exciting career with lots of job opportunities.  Exposing students to advanced training and education through a fun and creative program is a great way to showcase what careers are out there in the high-demand field of chemical sciences.”

Several area high schools have already signed up to participate in the program.

More information about the Chem-Techathon competition and the CT-RISE Project can be found at

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities. For more about the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, visit