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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 23, 2006 -- No. 502

Rocky Mount, Plymouth and Manteo 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 eastern North Carolina for visits to high schools in Rocky Mount, Plymouth and Manteo.

Tuesday (Oct. 24)
1:13 p.m. to 2:43 p.m.
Northern Nash High School
4230 Green Hills Road, Rocky Mount

Students from one of Tom Bartik's chemistry classes will perform a lab exercise called "The Crucial Concentration." Students will assume the role of laboratory investigators for a court case to determine the amount of protein found in three sports drinks. Using the general concept of the Lowry Assay and microanalysis skills, students learn how to use a spectrophotometer, measure absorbencies, collect quantitative data, and produce a standard curve to find the protein content in each sample.

Wednesday (Oct. 25)
9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.;
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Plymouth High School
East Main St., Plymouth

Two of Alma Phifer'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.

Thursday (Oct. 26)
8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Manteo High School
616 Wingina Ave., Manteo

One of Pat Holland's anatomy and physiology classes will perform a lab exercise called "Biological Bodyguards." Students will examine the vital role that the body's immune system takes to fight illness and prevent disease. Assuming the role of medical lab technicians, students will use a simulated viral extract and perform an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to screen hypothetical patients for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Thursday (Oct. 26)
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Manteo High School
616 Wingina Ave., Manteo

Students from one of Pat Holland's environmental science classes and one of Angela Gard'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. "The Crucial Concentration" 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 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