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"Lift Off, Lenoir!

posted Wednesday December 22, 2010

This news release was originally published by Will Lambe on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. Lambe is director of the Community & Economic Development Program and the Community-Campus Partnership, administered through the UNC School of Government.

The Community-Campus Partnership has awarded a $8,167 grant to Elysa Corin, an science education specialist at UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

The grant will support "Lift Off, Lenoir! A Partnership between Lenoir County Public Schools and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center." The program will bring North Carolina’s first portable digital planetarium and a unique space-themed education program to approximately 1,000 Lenoir County elementary school students. Given Lenoir County's recent achievements in the areas of science and technology, the partnership is a natural fit for Morehead's PLANETS (Portable Learning for All of North Carolina’s Elementary Teachers and Students) science education outreach program.

"Lenoir County has identified the improvement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM) opportunities for their youth as a development priority," Corin says. "We at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center are excited to offer more STEM opportunities for their students and teachers."

With funding from CCP, "Lift Off, Lenoir!" will bring PLANETS' astronomy-based educational shows, classroom materials and teacher training to Lenoir County. Working with Tezella Cline, professional development specialist for Lenoir County Public Schools, the program will provide standards-based teacher training, classroom materials and in-school field trips to Lenoir County's nine public elementary schools in 2011. Through its alignment with the community's emphasis on science and technology, the program will strengthen the formal education pipeline to prepare citizens for the social and economic changes in the county.

"The partnership between Lenoir County Public Schools and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is an awesome opportunity for our teachers and will help us to see STEM in action," Cline says. "We believe that our elementary [K-3] students will be motivated and highly engaged as they participate in and learn from this program."