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We're a role model for Jordan!

posted Monday July 18, 2011

Here's the news release about Crystal Harden's trip to Jordan, where she'll explain how Morehead delivers informal science education to schoolchildren.

Want to follow Crystal's trip as it happens? She'll be tweeting to her Twitter account @nccuaka and we'll retweet everything to Morehead's Twitter account @moreheadplanet so you'll be up to date!


The U.S. Department of State has chosen a science outreach program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a model for the Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Crystal Harden, external programs director for UNC's Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, will travel to Amman, Jordan, where she will share information about Morehead's educational outreach efforts with officials from Jordan's Ministry of Education, professors and university students. Her trip is funded through the U.S. Department of State's Office of International Information Programs.

Harden was selected to participate in the U.S. Speaker and Specialist program through the American Embassy in Amman. Embassy officials are working with Jordanian officials to develop a mobile science center. Many of Morehead’s programs are mobile, including the DESTINY mobile science laboratory, which delivers science outreach programs to high schools and middle schools throughout North Carolina. The DESTINY program, now in its eleventh year of operation, was one of the first mobile science laboratories in the United States.

During her trip (July 20-25), Harden will give presentations about DESTINY's operations and curricula, explaining the role of mobile laboratories and other science outreach programs in the United States. She will discuss other science education programs at Morehead (including Summer Science Camps, SciVentures and Family Science Days) and share examples of science curricula that Morehead uses in its outreach programs.

Harden has served as Morehead's external programs director since 2008. She oversees operations of DESTINY, the PLANETS portable planetarium program, "Science in the Summer" and "Minds On" summer enrichment programs and other outreach initiatives that serve nearly 9,000 North Carolina students each year. A Wilson native, Harden is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught science at the high school level and has developed science education programs for the State of California, the State of Arkansas, the Museum of Discovery (Little Rock, Ark.) and Imagination Station (Wilson).