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Media Advisory

Not for publication

April 18, 2005 -- No. 186


UNC’s Destiny traveling science learning program
makes stops at western N.C. schools this week

Media representatives are invited to climb aboard Discovery, one of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s traveling science laboratories, as it makes stops through western North Carolina this week

Tuesday (April 19): 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. and 12:19 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Asheville High School
419 McDowell St., Asheville

Shannon Baggett’s honors biology classes will perform a lab exercise called "The Case of the Crown Jewels." Students assume the role of forensic scientists and use DNA restriction analysis – popularly known as DNA fingerprinting – to analyze a drop of "blood" found at the scene of a robbery as they determine which of a number of suspects committed the crime. All of the traveling science learning program Destiny’s modules, or exercises, are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

Tuesday: 8:05 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Fairview Elementary School
251 Big Orange Way, Sylva

Marianna Kesgen’s eighth-grade science classes will perform a lab exercise called "Genes in a Bottle." In this exercise, students 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.

Wednesday (April 20): 11:53 a.m. to 1:22 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Smoky Mountain High School
100 Smoky Mountain High School, Sylva

Kim Corzine’s biology classes will perform "The Case of the Crown Jewels," detailed above.

Teacher Workshops

In addition to bus visits, today (April 18) the Destiny staff will provide professional development to educators from Asheville High School representing a variety of disciplines in a module titled "Exploring New Environments." Included are lesson plans and activities to engage student interest in ecosystems. Asheville High educators have applied for a grant as part of the New School Project to form a School of Inquiry and Life Science (SILSA) at Asheville High School. In addition to providing teacher workshops, the Destiny program is serving SILSA in a curriculum advisory capacity.

On Thursday (April 21), the Destiny program will team with the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) and world-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass on a seminar titled "Crime Scene Investigator: The New Sherlock Holmes." Educators will assume the role of detective and work a "crime scene." As part of the seminar, educators will analyze DNA fingerprinting onboard Discovery. The seminar will take place at the teaching center in Cullowhee.

Destiny is a traveling science learning program that delivers hands-on curricula and teacher professional development with a team of educators and a fleet of vehicles that travel statewide. Destiny and Discovery, two custom-built, 40-foot, 33,000-pound buses, bring the latest science and technology equipment to students who otherwise might not see a high-tech laboratory or what a career in science could offer.

Since hitting the road in 2000, the Destiny program has visited 97 N.C. counties, 104 school systems and 341 schools, in addition to training more than 1,000 educators and providing wet-lab experiences for more than 16,000 students onboard the bus or in the classroom.

For more information, visit www.destiny.unc.edu.

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Destiny contacts: Toni Cooper, (919) 824-1559 or tcooper@unc.edu; or Lauren Hunt, (919) 672-2870 or hunt@unc.edu

News Services contact: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093