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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 16, 2006 -- No. 486

Asheville, Black Mountain and Swannanoa students
to experience UNC's Destiny science learning bus

Media representatives are invited to climb aboard Destiny, one of the buses in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Destiny science learning program, this week as it travels to high schools in Asheville, Black Mountain and Swannanoa.

Tuesday (Oct. 17)
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
SILSA (School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville)
419 McDowell Street, Asheville

Students from Shannon Baggett's and Bill Sanderson's biology classes will perform a lab exercise called "Case of the Crown Jewels." Students will assume the role of forensic scientists and perform DNA restriction analysis (popularly known as DNA fingerprinting) to analyze drops of "blood" and other kinds of evidence found at crime scenes as they determine which suspects are guilty or innocent.

Tuesday (Oct. 17)
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SILSA (School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville)
419 McDowell Street, Asheville

During the same visit, students from Cindy Byron's environmental science class will perform a lab exercise called "BioBusiness." Students will discover how businesses use recombinant DNA technology to tailor products to meet customers' needs. Using genetic engineering techniques, students explore the mechanisms of gene expression and gene selection.

Wednesday (Oct. 18)
9:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
Charles D. Owen High School
99 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain

One of Anne Blackwell's anatomy and physiology classes will perform a lab exercise called "Mystery of the Crooked Cell." Students will discover the molecular basis of sickle cell disease by using gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate normal hemoglobin from hemoglobin found in individuals with sickle cell disease.

Thursday (Oct. 19)
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Asheville Christian Academy
74 Riverwood Road, Swannanoa

Two of Cheri Hagan's anatomy and physiology classes will perform a lab exercise called "Mystery of the Crooked Cell." Students will discover the molecular basis of sickle cell disease by using gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic tool to differentiate normal hemoglobin from hemoglobin found in individuals with sickle cell disease.

The Destiny traveling science learning program is the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center's formal science education initiative serving pre-college teachers and students across North Carolina. The program develops and delivers a standards-based, hands-on curriculum and teacher professional development with a team of educators and a fleet of vehicles that travel throughout the state.

Destiny and Discovery, two custom-built, 40-foot, 33,000-pound buses, bring the latest science and technology equipment to students who otherwise would not see a high-tech laboratory or what a career in science can offer. The modules described above are among 13 offered as part of Destiny's curriculum. All of Destiny's modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study. "Mystery of the Crooked Cell" was developed by Boston University's School of Medicine CityLab.

The science bus is a powerful visual image that heightens public awareness of the importance of and funding necessary for quality science education. Destiny first hit the road in 2000.

For more information, go to http://www.destiny.unc.edu.

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Destiny science learning contact: Claire Bury, (919) 843-5915 or bury@unc.edu
News Services contact: Kyle York, (919) 962-8415 or kyle_york@unc.edu