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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.

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

90 Minute Curriculum Modules 

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

60-90 Minute Curriculum Modules* 

  • Code Red 
  • Genes in a Bottle
  • So Fresh, So Clean

*60 Minutes for BUS visits, 90 minutes for EDUCATOR ONLY Visits.

See detailed program information below.

Fees and Requirements

Mobile Lab Bus 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). Sessions between 60-90 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. 

Mobile Lab Educator Only Classroom Visit

*This type of visit DOES NOT include our 40ft mobile laboratory bus.

  • $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.) 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 for either a Bus or Educator Only visit using the appropriate form 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

90 Minute Curriculum Modules

  • Biological Bodyguards (ELISA Test) Recommended for Biology, Applied Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Allied Health, and 7th and 8th grade science. Students will use an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) to test for a simulated antigen with real antibodies. This lab can be used to model how those in science and medical careers use this process to screen hypothetical patients for disease, test water samples for toxins, or another narrative that you request.

  • Exploring New Environments (Field Study) Recommended for Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science. Investigate complex relationships between organisms and the physical and biological environment, as well as the movement of energy and materials within an ecosystem.  Note: This module is not available for Mobile Lab BUS visits, and is only offered in September, October, April and May. 

  • Get A Clue (DNA Fingerprinting) Recommended for biology and forensic science courses. 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). Not recommended for Middle School classes. 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. Not recommended for Middle School classes.

60 Minute Curriculum Modules 

  • Code Red (Simulated Blood Typing) Recommended for 7th grade science, Forensics Courses, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Allied Health courses. 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. Curriculum Module PDF

  • Genes in a Bottle (DNA Extraction) Recommended for 7th and 8th grade science, Biology. Discuss cell structure and function before we extract DNA from your own cheek cells using a simple laboratory procedure and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands.

  • So Fresh, So Clean (Water Treatment) Recommended for 7th and 8th grade Science, Chemistry, Earth/Environmental Science, and Biology. Investigate water chemistry and purity with ‘So Fresh, So Clean.’ We’ll discuss pH to see the connections between water, acid/base chemistry and life. Then, we’ll simulate part of the water treatment process by monitoring and altering the pH of a sample of water. Curriculum Module PDF

Support for Morehead Mobile Labs 

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