210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

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Media Advisory

Not for publication

Dec. 13, 2004 -- No. 595

Caswell County biology students tour labs, board Discovery, lunch with chancellor Tuesday

Tuesday (Dec. 14), 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Assorted sites on UNC campus

Media representatives are invited to cover an interactive science visit Tuesday (Dec. 14) to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus by advanced biology students from Caswell County’s Bartlett Yancey High School.

While on campus, students in Susan Lassiter’s advanced biology class will visit three campus laboratories, observing experiments in progress; get a campus tour; lunch with Chancellor James Moeser and other administrators; conduct a lab exercise onboard Discovery, the university’s traveling science bus; and view the movie "DNA: The Secret of Life" at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

A 27-year veteran of the Caswell County schools, Lassiter is North Carolina’s biology teacher of the year. She and university officials have partnered on Tuesday’s visit, one of many to the campus aimed at encouraging students’ interest and proficiency in the sciences through an introduction to real-life academic and professional opportunities.

Observe laboratory operations
10:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
122 Coker Hall and 307 Fordham Hall
UNC campus

The students will break up into three teams, rotating through campus labs to observe research experiments conducted by five different UNC student researchers.

Research on the tour includes the following: cell cycle and fly development, meiotic recombination and DNA repair, mechanisms and dynamics of genome evolution, and bacterial and intestinal cell interactions.

Media may cycle with a group of Caswell students through the labs, if they wish, or stay put in one as student groups cycle through.

Have lunch with UNC Chancellor James Moeser
Noon to 1 p.m.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
South Gallery

Students will visit with Chancellor James Moeser and other university officials over lunch. Moeser will address the group, talking about the importance of dreaming big and working hard while showcasing the opportunities that are available to them if they make good grades and are active in student organizations and as community volunteers. Moeser and Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and student aid, will talk with the students about the groundbreaking access program, Carolina Covenant – the 225-member inaugural class of which this fall includes a young woman who graduated from Bartlett Yancey High School.

Conduct Genes in a Bottle lab experiment
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Onboard the science bus, Discovery
Outside Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Moeser will join students onboard Discovery as science educator Betty Brown leads students in a science activity called "Genes in a Bottle." Students will extract DNA from their own cheek cells using a simple laboratory procedure and watch it precipitate from solution as floating white strands. The DNA strands are then collected and transferred into a vial that students put on a necklace and take home with them.

Discovery is the second traveling science laboratory to hit the road in North Carolina. In 2000, the university launched its first science bus, Destiny, which stands for Delivering Edge-cutting Science and Technology in North Carolina for years to come. Both buses are full of state-of-the-art science and technology equipment for wet-lab experiments, Internet exploration and classroom materials. The buses bring the latest science and technology to students who otherwise would not see a high-technology laboratory or what a science career can offer.

The DESTINY Program is booked two years in advance. Its success in addressing the needs for quality science education in North Carolina prompted the need for a second bus. Discovery hit the road earlier this fall.

Watch the movie "DNA: The Secret of Life"
2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
North Gallery

Students close out their day on campus with a showing of "DNA: The Secret of Life," a film that begins with a brief history of the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson and moves through to the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2002-03. The film runs approximately 35 minutes.

Carolina Covenant background:

Destiny/Discovery background:


Note: Reporters, photographers and videographers interested in catching all or part of the students’ visit Tuesday are encouraged to call the numbers below to secure parking.

News Services contacts: Lisa Katz, 919-962-2093 (o) or 919-638-0474 (on site), (print); Karen Moon, 919-962-8595, (broadcast)

Destiny Program contact: Lauren Hunt, 919-672-2870 (on site),