We’ve led innovation in science education since opening in 1949. As a beacon for STEM research and outreach, we continue to educate Carolina students and the public about the critical role the sciences play in our lives. Our new interactive exhibit space, “Breakthrough Hub: A Lab to Life Exhibit,” is designed to give the public insight into how research progresses from abstract ideas first tested in a laboratory to innovations that go on to be integral to everyday life – and often, to save lives. Focusing on cutting-edge work from Carolina researchers, this space offers a hands-on introduction to the science behind the invention. One of our first exhibits is “Evryscope” For Everyone. What if something important happens in the universe when—or where—we aren’t looking? Astronomers at UNC are working to lessen that likelihood with Evryscope. Designed by Nicholas Law and his team in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Evryscope takes images of the night sky every two minutes, offering scientists the ability to detect astronomical events, distant planets and other new discoveries. Visitors to the Evryscope exhibit can zoom through our cosmic neighborhood with images made possible by the “wide-seeing” scope, using simple hand gestures to take a guided tour or explore on their own. And their experience advances our research—each exploration is added to a citizen-science database shared with Carolina astronomers.
Engage ScientistsTo make STEM fields more approachable, we will expand our training programs that teach university researchers – both students and faculty – how to effectively translate and share their work in ways laypeople of all ages can understand and embrace. Through exhibits, shows and programs, researchers will then provide enrichment experiences that reach school children, as well as general North Carolina audiences.
Revitalize Morehead’sWe will be fully equipped to engage students and the public. The Gateway Gallery will convey John Motley Morehead’s vision of a place where the arts and sciences intersect. The new “Breakthrough Hub: A Lab to Life” exhibit will showcase the transformative impact of scientiﬁc research happening right here on campus, while making the scientiﬁc process at-large real and relatable. A re-conﬁgured entry, facelifts for the GlaxoSmithKline Fulldome Theater and the science stage, an appealing new gift shop, new hands-on learning labs and improved outdoor spaces will meet and exceed the expectations of today’s visitors.
Expand Programming Across North CarolinaTo bring the wonders of science to more people of every age across the state, we will invest in science outreach programming, vehicles and tools, including our mobile lab and portable planetarium programs. We will focus on underserved areas and populations. We will broaden our engagement through local community partnerships. We will reach all of North Carolina’s current and next generations with a universe of possibilities.
Fund Access Regardless ofWe will work to ensure children from low-wealth, low-resource schools and areas continue to have access to Morehead. To spark a passion for STEM in young students, now and next, we will help schools champion science. An accessibility program will be an even more permanent part of Morehead's culture than it is now.
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The night sky has much to teach us beyond astronomy; it can lend perspective on how early humans grappled with a universe beyond their comprehension – but not necessarily their imaginations.
EvalFest is fostering a community of practice that develops, tests and shares evaluation approaches for science festivals, lending articulation and credibility as to their value to society.