Parking Lot Update

The UNC-owned Morehead parking lot is under construction. Weekday visitors must pay using ParkMobile (Zone Code 4468) or the Pay Station near our iguana. For more info, go to our Plan A Visit page.

Crystal R. Harden, EdD

Crystal Harden head shot
Crystal Harden (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Crystal R. Harden, EdD

Director of Program and Access Initiatives, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center 
Adjunct Assistant Professor, UNC School of Education
Campus Box 3480
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3480

Biographical Statement

Crystal Harden, EdD, manages educational programs and access initiatives for Morehead, including on-site and outreach programming and the North Carolina Science Festival. She collaborates with faculty, researchers, and communities to develop and implement accessible STEM curricula for broadening participation in STEM. Her research interests include the science identity expression of rural African American middle school-aged girls.

Harden is founder of the Science for All Summit, a community convening designed to engage educators, practitioners, researchers, thought leaders, and other change agents in conversation and knowledge building around emerging issues and innovative strategies related to advancing access in STEM for people of all backgrounds and lived experiences.

Harden holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Carolina Central University and a master’s degree and doctorate in education from UNC-Chapel Hill. Before joining Morehead in 2008, Harden served as an educational consultant for the California Department of Education. She also served as an expert on mobile science programs for the US Department of State in Amman, Jordan.


EdD 2021 – Curriculum and Instruction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MAT 1993 – Secondary Education – Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BS 1992 – Chemistry, North Carolina Central University


  • Member, North Carolina K-12 STEM Access Working Group, The Hunt Institute, 2023 – present
  • Board Member, North Carolina Science Network, 2022 – present
  • Board Member, Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Youth STEAM Summit Board, 2022 – present
  • Board Member, UNC Rural Initiatives, 2021 – present

Sponsored Projects

  • Saunders Science Scholars Program Support, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, December 1, 2023 – August 31, 2026, $150,797
  • 2024 Science for All Summit, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, November 1, 2023 – October 31, 2024, $50,000
  • Featuring Underrepresented Talent in Urban and Rural Engagement with Science (FUTURES), North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, October 1, 2019 – March 1, 2025, $1,000,000


EDUC 533: Social Justice in Education
EDUC 697: Education Minor Capstone Course