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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Sept. 25, 2006 -- No. 446


UNC's Destiny science learning program travels
to Newland, West Jefferson and Wilkesboro

CHAPEL HILL - Media representatives are invited to climb aboard Destiny, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's traveling science laboratory, this week when it visits high schools in Newland, West Jefferson and Wilkesboro.

Tuesday (Sept. 26), 8:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.;
9:55 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Avery County High School
401 High School Road, Newland

At the visit, students from Kay Campany's and Pam Scarborough'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 is used to acquire molecular data with which students construct an evolutionary tree for five fish species. Students examine proteomics as the new frontier of molecular biology and its importance to understanding the structure and function of the human genome and the genomes of other organisms.

Wednesday (Sept. 27), 9:45 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.;
1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Ashe County High School
184 Campus Drive, West Jefferson

At the visit, two of Michelle Benigno'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.

Thursday (Sept. 28), 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Wilkes Central High School
1179 Moravian Falls Road, Wilkesboro

At the visit, one of Marian Marley's chemistry 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. 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