CCP has awarded a $8,167 grant to Elysa Corin, science education specialist at UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. The grant will support “Lift Off, Lenoir! A Partnership between Lenoir County Public Schools and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.” The program will bring North Carolina’s first portable digital planetarium and a unique space-themed education program to approximately1,000 Lenoir County elementary school students.
Given Lenoir County’s recent achievements in the areas of science and technology, is a natural fit for UNC’s PLANETS (Portable Learning for All of North Carolina’s Elementary Teachers and Students) science education outreach program. “Lenoir County has identified the improvement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM) opportunities for their youth as a development priority,” Corin says, “and we at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center are excited to offer more STEM opportunities for their students and teachers.”
With funding from CCP, Lift Off, Lenoir! will bring PLANETS’ astronomy-based educational shows, classroom materials, and teacher training to Lenoir County. Working with Tezella Cline, professional development specialist for Lenoir County Public Schools, the program will provide standards-based teacher training, classroom materials, and in-school field trips to Lenoir County’s nine public elementary schools in 2011. Through its alignment with the community’s emphasis on science and technology, the program will strengthen the formal education pipeline to prepare citizens for the social and economic changes in the county.
“The partnership between Lenoir County Public Schools and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is an awesome opportunity for our teachers,” Cline says, “and will help us to see STEM in action. We believe that our elementary (K-3) students will be motivated and highly engaged as they participate in and learn from this program.”
*Photo Credit goes to the University Gazette, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Will Lambe authored the NC Rural Center report, Small Towns, Big Ideas, and he served as Director of the Community and Economic Development Program at the School of Government from 2009 to 2014.