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NEWS SERVICES
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Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
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 ADVISORY

Not for publication

March 7, 2001 -- No. 106

Traveling science laboratory to travel to Rogers-Herr Middle School in Durham

5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday (March 8)

Rogers-Herr Middle School, 911 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ís 40-foot, 26,000-pound traveling science laboratory, carrying state-of-the-art technology, will stop at Rogers-Herr Middle School March 8.

The laboratory is called Destiny, which stands for "Delivering Edge-Cutting Science, Technology and Internet Across North Carolina for Years to Come." GlaxoSmithKline, formerly Glaxo Wellcome Inc., awarded UNC a five-year, $1.6 million grant to build the bus, equip it and support operations.

The science bus grew from the work of the Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences, a consortium begun more than a decade ago by UNC that includes seven historically minority universities. The UNC-based consortium introduces biomolecular science into public school and college classrooms across the state in response to growing national concerns about a science teacher shortage, a decline in the number of Americans pursuing graduate degrees in science and a lack of diversity within the science professions.

The traveling science laboratory provides students and teachers access to equipment and instruction with a minimum of movement. Equipment inside includes wireless Internet access via satellite, laptop computers donated by IBM Corp., gel electrophoresis apparatus for separating proteins and DNA, a thermocycler for polymerase chain reaction experiments and incubators. Other items include spectrophotometers for finding the quantity of protein in a solution, a special plate reader to determine the concentration of a protein and a remotely controlled camera that enables students to see a teacherís demonstration on video monitors throughout the bus.

The Rogers-Herr visit is in conjunction with the schoolís science fair and open house.

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Note: For more information on Destiny, go to www.unc.edu/news/archives/apr00/scibus040600.htm

Rogers-Herr Middle School contact: Principal Eunice OíNeal Sanders or science fair coordinator Darren Gemzik, (919) 560-3970

News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415