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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

Nov. 5, 1999 -- No. 675

High school science students shoulders with Nobel laureate

10 a.m Thursday (Nov. 11)
231 Rosenau Hall, Carolina campus

Some North Carolina high school science students will get a rare treat Thursday (Nov. 11) when they meet with the scientist who won a Nobel prize for predicting that man-made chemicals would destroy the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

Dr. Mario J. Molina will hold the 10 a.m. seminar in room 231 Rosenau Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. He will discuss his research and what it’s like to be a scientist. Besides those students attending the seminar, others from around the state will ask Molina questions via LEARN NC and then watch it live on the Internet. LEARN NC also will broadcast streaming video of the seminar and a free public lecture Molina is giving on Wednesday (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on campus.

Students who are interested in the sciences and who might want to pursue a career in the field at the university are invited. Those participating include students from Williams High School in Burlington, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, and East Chapel Hill High. Other students from the School of Science and Math and Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City will watch the seminar in teleconference rooms at their school. The high interest in the event is evident since these students are giving up a school holiday—Veterans’ Day—just to attend and participate.

"Making this opportunity possible is an excellent example of how LEARN NC is helping UNC-CH to extend its reach beyond the campus," said Bobby Hobgood, Curriculum Resource Specialist for LEARN NC. " Because we have a presence in every school system in the state including many private schools and the Catholic Diocese, what better vehicle for sharing the experience. This caliber of event really brings the scientific community to the doormat of students’ educational experience and allows them to see that they can interact with the world."

Molina, professor of chemistry and Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of three scientists honored by the Nobel committee in 1995 for research leading to an international ban on ozone-depleting chemicals. The award represented the first time the Nobel committee recognized environmental research.

His visit marks the second installment of the university’s Chancellor’s Science Seminar Series, a public-lecture series featuring world-renowned researchers in basic and applied sciences. Dr. Pierre de Gennes, the 1991 Nobel laureate in physics, kicked off the series before a standing-room-only crowd last March.

General Background

LEARN NC (Learners’ and Educators’ Assistance and Resource Network of North Carolina) is a one-stop World Wide Web site offered free to all North Carolina school throughout the UNC-CH School of Education. It shows teachers how to use Internet-based technology to increase student achievement and foster community participation in education. Already, 24,000 teachers, administrators and trainers for all 117 of the state’s school districts have registered and trained to use LEARN.

Media Parking:

Limited parking for the media will be available in the Rosenau Hall parking lot, located off Pittsboro St. Broadcasters with heavy equipment or satellite trucks should contact UNC-CH Broadcast Manager Karen Moon for arrangements.


Note: Web Links:

News Services Contacts: Karen Moon (Broadcast, 919-962-8595, and Mike McFarland (print) 962-8593