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.

Saunders Science Scholars

Gates County students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. They stand in front of statues honoring the Greensboro Four.
Students of Gates County stand in a school library

Discovering the science in you!

In this unique partnership with Gates County Schools and the Gates County Community Partnership, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center helps students discover science in new and exciting ways through hands-on exploration and new enrichment opportunities. 

The program provides resources and events to the Gates County Schools community, in particular high school students and their families, to explore science in a meaningful way. Each month, a Morehead team, students, and a supportive adult collaborate with one of the local elementary schools to facilitate public science activities in a community event. In addition, during the summer, these students and their supporting adults embark on a week-long college tour across the state.

In addition to working with cohorts of students, the Saunders Science Scholars program supports the local school district by providing outreach from our mobile programs. We also engage with the community through general public events like the Saturdays of Science.

Crystal Harden, Ed. D. | Director of Program and Inclusion Initiatives 

Gates County students stand for a group photo.
Five Gates County students stand in front of a Saunders Science Scholars banner.
Students of Gates County play basketball at a trampoline park.

Saunders Science Scholars are encouraged to submit samples of their work. Find examples below!

Crystal Harden, Ed. D. | Director of Program and Inclusion Initiatives

More About This Program

Made possible by a gift from Morehead Advisory Council member, Stephen Butts, and his wife Addie Butts, the Saunders Science Scholars program was born out of a vision to help increase students’ science self-efficacy and confidence with STEM disciplines in school, and to provide mentoring support that encourages students to explore careers in STEM.

The Saunders Science Scholars program was named in honor of Benjamin C. Saunders, Sr., who was an esteemed educator with Gates County Schools for 40 years. In 2021, he posthumously received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society Award. The honor was granted by Governor Roy Cooper in acknowledgement of Saunders’ contributions to the state and his community through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Read more about the award here.