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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 25, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus visits Bolivia, Shallotte and Southport

Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Destiny, one of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two traveling science laboratories, when it visits Brunswick Community College, West Brunswick High School and South Brunswick High School next week.

Monday (Oct. 29)
8 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
9:40 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Brunswick Community College
50 College Road, Bolivia
Students from two of Sybil Burgess’ classes at Brunswick County Early College High School will perform a lab exercise called “Get a Clue.” They 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.

Tuesday (Oct. 30)
11:43 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
1:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
West Brunswick High School
550 Whiteville Road NW, Shallotte
Students from two of Lisa Jones’ classes will also perform “Get a Clue.”

Wednesday (Oct. 31)
9:36 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.
South Brunswick High School
280 Cougar Drive, Southport
Students from one of Steve Clark’s marine science classes will perform “From Finches to Fishes.” Students will learn the fundamental principles of evolution and natural selection. They will use protein gel electrophoresis to acquire molecular data with which they 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.

Please note: The following classes will all take place Wednesday (Oct. 31) inside South Brunswick High School in the classrooms specified and will be led by Destiny-trained teachers from South Brunswick High School. Destiny staff will assist during some of the classes.

8 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
9:40 a.m. to 11 a.m.
11:06 a.m. to 1:14 p.m.
Room 513
Students from three of Cindy Graves’ chemistry and physical science classes will perform “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.

8 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
Room 504
Students from one of Sarah Willis’ classes will perform “Get a Clue,” detailed above.

8 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
9:40 a.m. to 11 a.m.
11:06 a.m. to 1:14 p.m.
Room 508
Students from three of Melissa McGougan’s classes and one of Sarah Willis’ classes will perform “Get a Clue.”

The Destiny traveling science learning program is a science education outreach initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC that serves 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. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

The activities described above are examples of the Brunswick Destiny partnership formally established in 2004 that includes the Destiny program, Brunswick County Schools, Brunswick Community College and the Brunswick community at large.

The Science Education Partnership Award Program (SEPA) in the National Center for Research Resources is a current principal funder of UNC’s Destiny traveling science learning program. It has supported the development of the Brunswick Destiny partnership through providing professional development for Brunswick teachers, learning experiences for Brunswick students on board Destiny’s traveling science laboratories and in the classroom, and activities to engage and inform the Brunswick community about science education.

Destiny’s current principal funders are the state of North Carolina, the SEPA Program and GlaxoSmithKline. Additional support comes from Bio-Rad Laboratories and Medtronic, Inc.

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.moreheadplanetarium.org/go/destiny

Destiny contact: Claire Ruocchio, (919) 843-5915 or clr@unc.edu
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu