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Knight, leader of Hands On!, to head state museum board

Joseph Knight Joseph Knight

Hands On! Children’s Museum Executive Director Joseph Knight has been named board chair and president of the North Carolina Science Network for the 2023-24 term.

Knight succeeds Brent Lubbock, immediate past board chairman and president of the North Carolina Science Network, a statewide partnership of science museums, children’s museums, nature and wildlife centers, botanical gardens, and other institutions dedicated to inspiring and educating youth and adults in the areas of STEM. 

“The future of science education in North Carolina is looking bright with all the amazing things our institutions are offering, and the (new) NC Science Trail to help connect those opportunities," Lubbock said. "It has been a privilege being the chair over the last two years, and I am excited to see where things go under Joseph Knight’s leadership.”

Knight launched his museum career in the early 2000s at Imagination Station Science Museum in his hometown of Wilson. Since then, he has served in various leadership roles advancing informal STEM education at children’s and science museums throughout the eastern and western regions of the state. Knight currently leads Hands On!, a regional children’s museum that recently completed a 13,000-square-foot renovation and expansion in Hendersonville’s historic downtown.

“It is an honor and a privilege to lead this statewide partnership as chairman and president for the 2023 – 2024 term," Knight said. "I am excited about the many opportunities for our member institutions to collectively engage the citizens of North Carolina in diverse, inclusive, and cutting-edge STEM learning experiences.”

The North Carolina Science Network consists of over 40 member institutions in communities throughout the state—from the mountains to the coast serving all 100 North Carolina counties. Collectively, these institutions serve over 3.6 million North Carolina citizens annually, with a combined economic impact of over $100 million.

“North Carolina’s competitive future in STEM depends on a prepared workforce to ensure economic prosperity in a global market," Knight said. "Our member institutions are uniquely equipped to inspire and educate youth and adults in STEM by connecting classroom learning to real-world experiences. Inspiring youth and adults to realize their potential in STEM-related careers is key to ensuring North Carolina maintains a pipeline of highly skilled workers to meet the growing demand for STEM-related jobs.”

To learn more about the North Carolina Science Network, visit or email