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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Sept. 25, 2006 -- No. 445

UNC's Destiny science learning program
takes the bus to Lexington and Thomasville

Media representatives are invited to climb aboard Discovery, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's traveling science laboratory, this week as it travels to high schools in Lexington and Thomasville.

Tuesday (Sept. 26), 7:59 a.m. to 9:29 a.m.;
9:36 a.m. to 11:06 a.m.
North Davidson High School
7227 Old US Highway 52, Lexington

At the visit, two of Jody Smith's biology classes 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 will explore the mechanisms of gene expression and gene selection.

Wednesday (Sept. 27), 9:47 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.;
11:25 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.;
1:28 p.m. to 2:58 p.m.
Central Davidson High School
2747 NC Highway 47, Lexington

At the visit, three of Rustom Dashtaki's biology 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 (Sept. 28), 11:51 a.m. to 1:23 p.m.;
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
East Davidson High School
1408 Lake Road, Thomasville

At the visit, two of Evelyn Allen'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.

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. Destiny 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.

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 contact: Claire Bury, (919) 843-5915 or bury@unc.edu
News Services contacts: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093; Kyle York, (919) 962-8415