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New director of outreach programs

posted Friday February 8, 2008

CHAPEL HILL – Crystal Harden The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center has appointed Crystal Harden as their director of outreach programs.

Her appointment is effective February 4, 2008.

Harden comes to MPSC with a wide range of experience in formal and informal science education and most recently served as the education programs consultant for the California Department of Education.

“Crystal’s combination of experience in science education – as a specialist in education programming, as an educator at the high school level and as a key figure in the development of two science centers – will be essential in the expansion of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s outreach efforts,” stated Dr. Todd Boyette, director of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

Born and raised in Wilson County, Harden graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She went on to earn a master’s degree in teaching from UNC-Chapel Hill and a certification in administration from Alabama State University.

Harden gained museum experience while serving as director of technology and physical science education at the Museum of Discovery in Arkansas, and as director of education and assistant executive director at the Imagination Station Science Museum in Wilson, N.C.

She also has experience as a chemistry teacher in California and North Carolina, and as a science teacher in Alabama.

As director of outreach programs, Harden will oversee the Destiny traveling science learning program and will also seek ways of enhancing other outreach programs at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

“I am looking forward to expanding Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s outreach efforts, so even more citizens of North Carolina will have access to the planetarium’s engaging and exciting approach to science education.”

Since opening in 1949, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-Chapel Hill has welcomed more than 6.5 million people to learn more about science through school field trips, multimedia Star Theater shows, classes for adults and children, summer camps, guest speakers, digital films and special events.

The Destiny traveling science learning program is a science education outreach initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center that serves pre-college teachers and students across North Carolina. Destiny develops and delivers a standards-based, hands-on curriculum and teacher professional development with a team of educators and a fleet of vehicles that travel throughout the state.

Created by Carolina in 2000, Destiny became a program of UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in 2006.