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Media Advisory

Not for publication

Aug. 25, 2004 -- No. 396

UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor, science bus to visit high school
as part of ‘Carolina Connects’ trip to High Point

Thursday (Aug. 26), 2 p.m.
High Point Central High School
801 Ferndale Blvd., High Point

Media representatives are invited to cover a visit Thursday (Aug. 26) by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser to High Point Central High School. Moeser will meet with school officials, teachers and students, who will perform an experiment aboard Destiny, UNC-Chapel Hill’s traveling science learning program.

Moeser’s trip to High Point is part of his "Carolina Connects" initiative, launched in the spring. Through the initiative, Moeser is visiting each region of the state to highlight the many ways in which UNC-Chapel Hill serves North Carolina’s people and their communities.

Accompanying Moeser to High Point Central High School will be Dr. Walter "Skip" Bollenbacher, Destiny director and UNC biology professor.

At the visit, Steven Ross’ 12th-grade Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate students will perform a lab exercise, part of Destiny’s curriculum, called "The Case of the Crown Jewels." Students assume the role of forensic scientists and use DNA restriction analysis, also known as DNA fingerprinting, to analyze a drop of "blood" found at the scene of a robbery. They will determine which of a number of suspects committed the "crime." This is a required laboratory for Advanced Placement.

Destiny, a custom-built 40-foot, 26,000-pound bus, is full of state-of-the-art science and technology equipment for wet-lab experiments, Internet exploration and classroom materials. The project, among the first of its kind nationwide, grew from the Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences, a consortium UNC began more than a decade ago with historically minority universities. The consortium introduces biomolecular science into N.C. public school and college classrooms in response to a science teacher shortage and a lack of diversity within the science professions. The bus brings the latest science and technology to students who otherwise would not see a high-technology laboratory or what a science career can offer. Since hitting the road in 2000, Destiny has visited 95 counties, 104 school systems and 250 schools. The bus has reached more than 850 educators, hosted more than 8,500 students for lab experiences on board and provided more than 24,000 students with classroom curriculum materials. For information, go to www.unc.edu/destiny/.

Carolina Connects background: http://www.unc.edu/news/newsserv/archives/may04/carolinaconnects052704.html

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UNC-Chapel Hill contacts: Lisa Katz, (919) 638-0474 (cell, on day of event); or Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or deborah_saine@unc.edu

High Point Central High School contact: Ray Haupt, (336) 819-2825 or hauptr@guilford.k12.nc.us