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Morehead Mobile Labs

Destiny Bus in Chapel Hill

More than a quarter-million North Carolina students have participated in the Morehead's mobile labs program. This program provides students with an introduction to science careers in biotechnology, health and medicine and other related science disciplines. Morehead’s mobile labs program (formerly DESTINY) offers visits from its fully-equipped 40-foot customized bus to supplement science education in public schools.

Morehead's mobile labs program mission is to promote equity of access to quality science learning opportunities in order to increase interest, ensure understanding, and demonstrate the relevance of science to all students’ lives.

Morehead offers an Educator Classroom Visit option that does not include the mobile lab. The Morehead educator leads lab activities in the classroom during the first session, modeling the methods, and “team teaching” with the teacher in the remaining sessions. 

Planning Your Visit

Programs Offered | Fees and Requirements

Request a Visit | Cancellation Policy | Program Details

Due to the different equipment required for each module, and the time that would be needed to set up and break down the lab between different modules, we generally cannot accommodate requests for different modules all to take place on the same day.

Programs Offered

Curriculum Modules for High School

  • Biological Bodyguards
  • Exploring New Environments 
  • Get A Clue
  • Mystery of the Crooked Cell​

Curriculum Modules for Middle School

  • Code Red 
  • Genes in a Bottle
  • So Fresh, So Clean
  • What's Snot To Like? 

See detailed program information below.

Fees and Requirements

Mobile Lab Visit

  • $350 for a one-day visit, $275 for each additional consecutive day.
  • 3 sessions per day, maximum of 24 students per session (12 lab stations).
  • High school sessions are 90 minutes and middle school sessions are 60 minutes.
  • Labs are led by the Morehead educator. Teacher must be present during labs.
  • Sites within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill have a $50 travel fee per day.
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill have an additional $200 travel fee per each day required. This fee may be adjusted if visits are scheduled for nearby sites on consecutive days. 

Educator Classroom Visit

  • $200 for a one-day visit, $150 for each additional consecutive day.
  • 3 sessions per day, maximum of 24 students (depends on class and equipment needs.) 
  • High school sessions and middle school sessions are 90 minutes.
  • Labs are led by the Morehead educator. Teacher must be present during labs.
  • Sites within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill have a $50 travel fee per day.
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill have an additional $200 travel fee per each day required. This fee may be adjusted if visits are scheduled for nearby sites on consecutive days. 

Request a Visit

  • Submit your request using one of the forms at the top of the page.
  • Confirm with your school how fees will be paid and provide information on the online request form.
  • Forms submitted by early September of the current school year receive priority scheduling. Forms can be submitted at any time during the year. Scheduling for visits is based on remaining availability.
  • If selected to receive a mobile labs visit, Morehead will send a notification email with visit dates and guidelines.

Cancellation Policy

Visits canceled two weeks prior to visit date are eligible for a refund of fees. Visits canceled less than two weeks prior to visit date are not eligible for a refund of fees. Morehead may waive this policy if the visit is canceled due to school closure for inclement weather, fire or other emergency condition

Program Details

Curriculum Modules for High School

  • Biological Bodyguards (ELISA Test) Examine how the body’s immune system fights illness and prevents disease.  Use a simulated viral extract and perform an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to screen hypothetical patients for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Target courses: biology, applied science, anatomy and physiology, allied health. Curriculum Module PDF 

  • Exploring New Environments (Field Study) Investigate complex relationships between organisms and the physical and biological environment, as well as the movement of energy and materials within an ecosystem.  Note: the hands-on field experience does not involve the mobile lab. Target courses: biology, environmental science.

  • Get A Clue (DNA Fingerprinting) Role-play as forensic scientists to analyze drops of “blood” and other evidence found at crime scenes and determine which suspects are guilty by using DNA restriction analysis (popularly known as DNA fingerprinting). Target courses: biology, forensic science courses. Curriculum Module PDF

  • Mystery of the Crooked Cell (Gel Electrophoresis) Discover the molecular basis of sickle cell disease and use gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate normal hemoglobin from hemoglobin found in individuals with sickle cell disease.  Module developed by Boston University School of Medicine CityLab. Target courses: biology, anatomy and physiology, allied health. 

Curriculum Modules for Middle School

  • Code Red (Simulated Blood Typing) Learn about the composition and physiology of blood.  Analyze the components of a scab and identify the substances comprising human blood.  Analyze the genetic and cellular basis of blood types and understand the importance of blood types during transfusions.  Test simulated blood samples on our mobile lab to determine safe transfusions. Target courses: middle school sciences. Curriculum Module PDF

  • Genes in a Bottle (DNA Extraction) Extract DNA from your own cheek cells using a simple laboratory procedure and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands. Target courses: middle school sciences.

  • So Fresh, So Clean (Water Treatment) Investigate water chemistry and purity. Build pH scales to see the connections between water, acid/base chemistry, and human life. Simulate part of the water treatment process by monitoring and altering the pH of a sample of water. Target courses: middle school sciences. Curriculum Module PDF

  • What's Snot To Like? (ELISA Test) Learn about the effects of mucus in the human respiratory system, the physical properties of mucus, and how it lubricates the gastrointestinal tract and helps move particles out of the lungs.  Use the ELISA immunology testing process to complete a modeling activity for cystic fibrosis. Target courses: middle school sciences. Curriculum Module PDF

Support for Morehead Mobile Labs 

The mobile labs program was founded in 2000 with the generous support of GSK and NASA.