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Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 30, 2006 -- No. 517

Olin and Statesville high school students
to get hands-on lesson aboard UNC's science bus

Media representatives are invited to climb aboard Discovery, one of the buses in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Destiny science learning program, as it travels to Iredell County high schools in Olin and Statesville this week.

Wednesday (Nov. 1)
8:05 a.m. to 9:33 a.m.
North Iredell High School
156 Raider Road, Olin

Students from one of Pamela Bowman'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.

Wednesday (Nov. 1)
10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.;
1:25 p.m. to 3:03 p.m.
North Iredell High School
156 Raider Road, Olin

During the same visit, students from two of Rachel Lincoln'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 (Nov. 2)
8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.;
9:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
South Iredell High School
299 Old Mountain Road, Statesville

Students from two of Cindy Christensen's biology classes will perform a lab exercise called "From Finches to Fishes." Students will learn fundamental principles of evolution and natural selection through a variety of inquiry-based activities, including an imaginary trip to the Galapagos and a predation simulation. Protein gel electrophoresis will be used to acquire molecular data with which students will construct an evolutionary tree for five fish species.

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" is adapted from a Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module.

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

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Destiny science learning contact: Claire Bury, (919) 843-5915 or
News Services contact: Kyle York, (919) 962-8415 or