Planning your next visit?

Advance tickets are required for all guests including children, and all guests over the age of 2 must wear a proper face covering.
Read more about our safety protocols and plan your next visit to the new Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

What you Need to Know

Morehead in Motion: Lab to Life


Morehead Planetarium & Science Center has developed specific COVID-19 Precautions required for this program, available at the link below. Before requesting a visit, please review these precautions. All scheduled visits will be required adhere to these precautions.

Click HERE to read the COVID-19 Safety Precautions for the Lab to Life Program.

Lab to Life is a selection of hands-on, narrative-driven lessons for middle and high school students.

Students will take on the role of a scientist performing an everyday task or investigation that they might do as part of their job. Through these chemistry- or biology-focused labs, students will have a chance to experience what it would be like to work in a variety of STEM careers and see the direct application of the skills and standards they are learning in their classes. Lab to Life curricula strive to cover the diversity of STEM itself and include both laboratory work and field work. See below for program options.

Lab to Life

For Grades 6-12

Length: 90 minutes

Maximum participants: Varies. Please see COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Lab to Life

Maximum sessions: 2 per day

Recommended for Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, Forestry courses, Trigonometry, Geometry, or 6th, 7th, or 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. Employ various environmental sampling technologies to determine the disposition of both biotic and abiotic factors within an assigned study site. Students can also use and learn forestry techniques and tools to measure the size, weight, and carbon content of trees.

NOTE: This lab can be conducted inside or outside. If you choose the outdoor version, it is thus weather-dependent and can only be conducted in September, October, late March, April, and May. Students must be prepared to dress for the conditions.

NC Standards Correlations

Recommended for Biology, Forensics, or Oceanography courses. Not recommended for middle school.

Become an oceanographer and use gel electrophoresis (aka DNA restriction analysis) to analyze simulated seawater samples to detect environmental DNA in order to search for and document new species that call the ocean’s mysterious twilight zone home.

NC Standards Correlations

Recommended for Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, or Health/Medicine courses. Not recommended for middle school. 

Discover the molecular basis of sickle cell disease and use gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate wild-type hemoglobin from mutated hemoglobin found in individuals with sickle cell disease.  Module developed by Boston University School of Medicine CityLab.

NC Standards Correlations

Recommended for Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, Health/Medicine courses, or 7th Grade Science. 

Students will examine the genetic and cellular basis of blood types as well as gain understanding of the importance of blood typing for medical procedures. Then, they will test simulated blood samples from potential donors to determine who can safely give to an injured patient.

NC Standards Correlations

Base Fees

  • One-day visit: $350
  • Each additional, consecutive day: $175 per day

Travel Fees

  • Sites within 90 miles of Chapel Hill: $50 per day
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill: $200 per day
  • All travel fees are calculated using Google Maps.

Maximum participants: Varies. Please see COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Lab to Life page 3, #6 & 7, for details.

Scholarship assistance is available pending qualifications.

  • Secure an area that is larger than a traditional classroom, e.g., library/media center, gym, covered outdoor space) to help increase distancing. The program space must include at least one window to increase ventilation throughout the room and the door must remain open during each session.
  • The earliest time class can start is 8:30 A.M. This is due to the amount of time it takes to initially set up the lab stations, which can be up to 90 minutes.
  • Labs are led by a Morehead educator. A school staff member must be present during labs.
  • A staff member must also be present to greet the educator when they arrive at your school. This person should be available to help unload and set up.
  • If your visit is for one day, the lab must be in the same location all day. If your visit is for multiple days, the lab should remain in the same location for each day.

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.

Daniel Wheeler | Science Programs Outreach Educator