|GSK grant to UNCís Morehead Planetarium to expand science education outreach|
|Tuesday, May 25, 2010|
GlaxoSmithKline has awarded a two-year, $723,000 grant to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The grant will expand the outreach initiative Science in the Summer, which delivers science education through community enrichment programs in North Carolina.
“We want students to learn about the wonders of science at an early age so that they can begin to develop a lifelong interest and appreciation,” said Mary Linda Andrews, director of Community Partnerships for GlaxoSmithKline.
The enrichment programs focus on a different science discipline each year and will explore oceanography and water quality in 2010, said Crystal Harden, director of external programs for Morehead. “We’ve had a great response from the communities, and parents tell us this is a wonderful experience for their children. One of our goals is to keep children interested in science and in learning during the summer when they’re not in school. The enrichment programs are very different from being in a classroom, but the lessons we teach here reinforce the lessons the children learn in school.”
Public libraries and other community sites host the enrichment programs. Using curriculum materials developed by the Science in the Summer and the Morehead Summer Science Camps programs, science teachers serve as instructors. High school students assist the teachers.
Science in the Summer enrichment programs for children in elementary grades offer five half-days of activities. Children in middle grades are eligible for two half-days of activities, which include laboratory experiments aboard a mobile science laboratory, part of Morehead’s Destiny Traveling Science Learning Program. There is no charge to participate in Science in the Summer enrichment programs, but spaces are limited.
GlaxoSmithKline created Science in the Summer 24 years ago in Pennsylvania, expanding the program to North Carolina in 2008 and choosing Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to administer the program within the state. Science in the Summer initially offered enrichment programs at 10 sites in North Carolina and doubled in size during its second year in the state, with enrichment programs at 20 sites in seven counties. The program will continue to grow, adding 10 sites each year through 2011.
The grant from GlaxoSmithKline will fund the program’s growth, which will include adding a program director and implementing a new online registration system this year.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center contact: Karen Kornegay, (919) 843-7952,