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Media Advisory

For immediate use

May 4, 2007

Media invited to Discovery bus stops in Hillsborough and Henderson

CHAPEL HILL – Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Discovery, one of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two traveling science laboratories, when it visits Cedar Ridge High School, Northern Vance High School and Southern Vance High School next week.

Tuesday (May 8)
8:45 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
10:25 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Cedar Ridge High School
1125 Grady Brown School Road, Hillsborough
Students from two of Crystal Bennett’s honors biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Get a Clue.”  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 (May 9)
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Northern Vance High School
293 Warrenton Road, Henderson
Students from one of Justyn Spencer’s oceanography classes will perform “From Finches to Fishes.” Protein gel electrophoresis will be used to acquire molecular data with which students will construct an evolutionary tree for five fish species. Students will 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 (May 9)
12 p.m. to 1: 30 p.m.
Northern Vance High School
293 Warrenton Road, Henderson
During the same visit, students from one of Justyn Spencer’s honors biology classes will perform “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 (May 10)
8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Southern Vance High School
925 Garrett Road, Henderson
Students from one of Wendi Leas’ honors biology 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).

The Destiny traveling science learning program is 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. “Case of the Crown Jewels” is developed from a Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

The science buses are powerful visual images that heighten public awareness of the importance of and funding necessary for quality science education. The Destiny program first hit the road in 2000.

Destiny Web site: http://www.destiny.unc.edu

Destiny contact: Karen Kornegay (919) 843-7952 or kck@unc.edu
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan­_houston@unc.edu