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Morehead brings Free Science Program to Gates County

GATES COUNTY, N.C. – Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will introduce the Saunders Science Scholars program in Gates County Schools, thanks to funding by their advisory board member, Steve Butts.

The program will provide resources and events to the Gates County Schools community in particular middle school students and their families to explore science. These families will attend monthly events. They will also take part in a week long summer camp, which will serve 20 children from Gates County. This program will mentor students starting in middle school through high school.

The Saunders Science Scholars program is named after a beloved science teacher and principal from Gates County, Benjamin C. Saunders, Sr. The program was designed after Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s family science enrichment program, in an effort to get young people and their families more involved in science.

Applications for the Saunders Science Scholars will be available on August 22 at the Central Middle School open house and will also be distributed in welcome packets on the first day of school Monday, August 27.

"Gates County Schools is extremely excited to be a part of history in the making as we partner with Morehead Planetarium to provide our students with the opportunity to be a part of the Saunders Science Scholars Program."

- Tammy Boone, Assistant Superintendent, Gates County Schools

“I am grateful to be honored in this manner by Gates County Schools and UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. This is an amazing opportunity for the students and community of Gates County, which lacks access to many of the STEM resources that this initiative will provide. As a dedicated educator for over 40 years, I wholeheartedly believe that this program will have a positive impact on these students and their interest in STEM.”

-Benjamin C. Saunders, Sr., Retired Educator, Gates County Schools

“Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is excited to expand our family science enrichment program and deploy all of our outreach efforts into Gates County Schools. This partnership will be a model for other organizations and school systems to duplicate. We are most excited about the impact on these young minds and their potential in the STEM field and careers.”

-Crystal Harden, Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

About Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The Morehead Building houses the GSK Fulldome Theater, Science Stage, exhibits, and Morehead classrooms. Nearly 160,000 people visit the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center annually, including 85,000 schoolchildren.

Media Contact for Gates County: Tammy Boone, 252-357-1113, ext. 23

Media Contact for Saunders Family: Benjamin Saunders, Jr., 704-340-2191

Media Contact for Morehead Planetarium and Science Center: Crystal Harden, 919-843-8496