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NSF awards grant to MPSC

posted Tuesday April 24, 2007

Distributed by UNC News Services, May 23, 2007

NSF awards more than half-million dollars
to Morehead Planetarium

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $570,487 grant to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The grant will support the center’s Science 360 educational program.

Science 360 presents current science news in a theater setting, including sound and video clips, animations, projections and audience participation. The center tested its prototype Science 360 show “Hurricanes Unleashed!” in fall 2006. This summer, the center will launch two new Science 360 shows, “What Happened to Pluto?” and “Tomorrow’s Buildings Today.”

Each Science 360 show is created by a team that includes scientists (usually Carolina faculty members), students and instructional design specialists. This team researches and creates the show – choosing content, writing scripts, developing graphics, delivering the show to live audiences and creating podcasts that can be delivered to a global audience through the center’s Web site at www.moreheadplanetarium.org.

The center will use the grant to involve more UNC undergraduate and graduate students in Science 360 show development over the next three years. Grant funds will also support technical enhancements for Science 360’s multimedia systems.

Science 360 shows are designed for school-age children and their families. The newest Science 360 shows on June 10.