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North Carolina students become space scientists with GSK Science in the Summer™

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Free STEM Enrichment Program Returns for Summer 2024

CHAPEL HILL, NC (May 9, 2024) – GSK Science in the Summer™, a free summer STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program designed to inspire the future generation of scientists and engineers, returns this summer with a new theme: Be a Space Scientist!

Supported by GSK, led by The Franklin Institute, and coordinated through Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, this 100% free STEM enrichment program provides exciting opportunities for students to embody science careers, think scientifically, and have fun. Through a series of hands-on activities, students will dive deep into the fascinating world of space exploration and be introduced to different career paths as they step into the roles of Astrobiologist, Planetary Geologist, Robotics Engineer, Rocket Engineer, and Spacesuit Designer.

“Today more than ever, it’s critical to provide students with opportunities to discover the wonders of science, explore various career paths, and recognize the important role scientists play in changing our world,” said Erica Henderson, Director, US Charitable Investments at GSK. “Through GSK Science in the Summer™, we’re proud to invest in and inspire the next generation of innovators.”

GSK Science in the Summer™ was created more than 37 years ago in Philadelphia as part of GSK’s commitment to supporting diverse and equitable STEM education. Led by The Franklin Institute, the national network this year will bring together an additional 22 informal science institutions to reach an estimated 23,400 youth in grades 2 – 6 through partnerships with 290 community-based youth-serving organizations nationwide.

Children participate in a Science in the Summer activity involving magnets.

As of this year, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will no longer administer the GSK Science in the Summer™ program in North Carolina. Instead, Morehead will support participating community organizations through the national program by providing training and materials. These partnerships will serve nearly 800 children across 10 North Carolina counties, providing them with fun, hands-on, age-appropriate activities to help them learn the importance of space science. Morehead is grateful for its past 15 years of partnership with GSK Science in the Summer™ and is proud to continue championing out-of-school learning in historically marginalized communities and underserved areas of the state.

“The goal of GSK Science in the Summer™ is to increase interest and confidence among students in doing science and pursuing STEM careers, especially students from backgrounds currently underrepresented in STEM fields,” said Dr. Darryl Williams, Senior Vice President of Science and Education, and Human Resources at The Franklin Institute. “The Franklin Institute recognizes that one of the most effective ways to create a future with a diverse STEM workforce is to offer young students opportunities to envision themselves as astronauts, engineers, or chemists, and year after year, this program excels at doing that.”

The Franklin Institute develops the GSK Science in the Summer™ curriculum, which is freely available at

About Morehead Planetarium and Science Center 
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Morehead serves North Carolina and beyond by bringing together the unique resources of UNC to engage the public for an enhanced understanding of science. For more information, please visit

About The Franklin Institute   
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. As Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit

About GSK  
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information, please visit