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DESTINY Traveling Science Learning Program

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SUMMARY STATEMENT:  DESTINY is a traveling science lab (bus) from UNC.  The Destiny bus visits New Bridge and allows 7th and 8th grade science students the opportunity to complete laboratory work with staff from the University of North Carolina.  This academic activity is a single day event open to 7th and 8thgrade students.


What is DESTINY?

The DESTINY (Delivering Edge-cutting Science Technology and Internet across North Carolina for Years to come) Traveling Science Learning Program is Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s formal science education initiative serving pre-college teachers and students across North Carolina.

DESTINY develops and delivers standards-based, hands-on science curricula, teacher professional development opportunities, and enriched learning for students who otherwise would not be able to experience what jobs in science, biotechnology, health and related fields may offer them.

Traveling throughout North Carolina year-round, DESTINY’s team of educators, along with Destiny and Discovery (two 40-foot, 33,000-pound buses, each fully equipped as a traveling science laboratory that can accommodate 24 students), bring effective science learning to students and provide strong support for teachers.



DESTINY was created by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000 and has served thousands of North Carolina's teachers and students. It became a program of UNC's Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in 2006.



Our current principal funders are the State of North Carolina and GlaxoSmithKline, with additional support from Bio-Rad Laboratories. Past funders have included the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program in the National Center for Research Resources, Medtronic Inc., the NC Biotechnology Center and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. IBM and New England BioLabs have provided in-kind support.



  • Increases students’ interest and confidence with fun and practical learning experiences
  • Exposes students to hands-on science learning with professional-grade science equipment
  • Helps students learn science and perform better on N.C. end-of-course tests, SATs and AP exams
  • Provides opportunities for students to envision and pursue careers in science
  • Empowers teachers with new approaches and more resources to increase science learning
  • Offers an innovative, effective curriculum aligned with North Carolina Essential Standards
  • Provides professional development and classroom materials to teachers at minimal cost
  • Provides stipends, grantwriting assistance and other professional support as available
  • Links university expertise to school systems to strengthen educational opportunities
  • Provides interdisciplinary curricula and professional development programs to build school success
  • Provides a powerful visual image of what science classrooms can and should look like now
  • Supports school systems in cost-effective investment of their equipment and supply dollars
  • Contributes to a science-literate society
  • Increases diversity in science professions
  • Heightens public awareness of the importance of and funding necessary for quality science education
  • Strengthens the education foundation necessary for economic development and prosperity

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