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Media Advisory

For immediate use

May 11, 2007

Media invited to Destiny bus stops in Pitt County

Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Destiny and Discovery, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s  traveling science laboratories, when they visit five Pitt County high schools next week. 

Tuesday (May 15)
10:02 a.m. to 11:36 a.m.
Ayden-Grifton High School
7653 N.C. 11 South, Ayden
Students from one of Linda Leich’s honors 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.

Tuesday (May 15)
1:50 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Ayden-Grifton High School
7653 N.C. 11 South, Ayden
Students from one of Catherine B. Skinner’s honors 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 will 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 (May 16)
10:02 a.m. to 11:34 a.m.
1:45 p.m. to 3:34 p.m.
J.H. Rose High School
600 W. Arlington Boulevard, Greenville
Students from one of Katherine S. Borne’s standard biology classes and one of Obi Chukwu’s standard 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.

Wednesday (May 16)
8:25 a.m. to 9:55 a.m.
1:50 p.m. to 3:34 p.m.
D.H. Conley High School
2006 Worthington Road, Greenville
Students from one of Karen Quick’s honors biology classes and one of Sue Purser’s honors health science 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 (May 17)
8:25 a.m. to 9:57 a.m.
11:39 a.m. to 1:11 p.m.
North Pitt High School
5659 N.C. 11 North, Bethel
Students from two of Ann Simo’s 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).

Thursday (May 17)
10:02 a.m. to 11:34 a.m.
12:08 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Farmville Central High School
3308 E. Wilson Street, Farmville
Students from two of Fanette Entzminger’s honors biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Mystery of the Crooked Cell,” as described above.

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. “The Crucial Concentration,” “Case of the Crown Jewels” and “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” are developed from Boston University School of Medicine CityLab modules. 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