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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 19, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science buses visit Burke, Buncombe counties

Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Destiny and Discovery, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two traveling science laboratories, when they visit Freedom High School, A.C. Reynolds High School, Asheville Christian Academy and Charles D. Owen High School next week.

Tuesday (Oct. 23)
7:55 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.
9:35 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.
Freedom High School
511 Independence Boulevard, Morganton
Students from one of Kathy McCormick’s honors biology classes and one of her career-level biology classes 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. 23)
8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
11:20 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
A.C. Reynolds High School
1 Rocket Drive, Asheville
Students from two of Josh Ray’s biology classes and two of Martha Cowan’s biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Mystery of the Crooked Cell.” They 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.

Wednesday (Oct. 24)
9:20 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.
12:25 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.
Asheville Christian Academy
74 Riverwood Road, Swannanoa
Students from two of Cheri Hagan’s classes will perform “Case of the Crown Jewels” (an earlier version of “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.

Thursday (Oct. 25)
11:20 a.m. to 12:53 p.m.
Charles D. Owen High School
99 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain
Students from one of Anna Blackwell’s classes will also perform “Get a Clue.”

The Destiny traveling science learning program is a science education outreach initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-Chapel Hill 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. The modules described above are among 14 offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” and “Case of the Crown Jewels/Get a Clue” 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.

Current principal funders are the state of North Carolina, the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program in the National Center for Research Resources, 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