GSK created the Science in the Summer program in 1986 in Philadelphia to combat the "summer slide." The “summer slide” is a documented phenomenon that can happen when children do not participate in academic activities during the summer. When the "summer slide" occurs, children may actually lose some of the progress they made during the previous school year. Science in the Summer prevents the "summer slide" by engaging children in science education.
In 2008, GSK expanded the program into North Carolina and chose Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to administer the program. During its first year in North Carolina, the program was offered for free at 10 sites. It doubled in size for its second year.
Since then, the program has expanded to offer more than 50 sites and 180 sessions annually in ten North Carolina counties.