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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Nov. 2, 2007

UNC’s Destiny program makes first trip to Camden, plus Gatesville, Elizabeth City

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 Gates County High School, Pasquotank County High School and Camden County High School next week. This visit is the Destiny program’s first to Camden.

Tuesday (Nov. 6)
11:20 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.
Gates County High School
088 Highway 158 West, Gatesville
Students from one of Teri Campbell’s advanced placement biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Case of the Crown Jewels.” 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.

Wednesday (Nov. 7)
11:55 a.m. to 1:25 p.m.
Pasquotank County High School
1064 Northside Road, Elizabeth City
Students from one of Sharon Meads’ honors biology classes will also perform “Case of the Crown Jewels,” described above.

Thursday (Nov. 8)
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Camden County High School
103 U.S. 158 West, Camden
Students from one of Battina Armstrong’s biology classes and one of her forensic science classes will perform a lab exercise called “Get a Clue” (a later version of “Case of the Crown Jewels”). 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.

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. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

Destiny’s current principal funders are the State of North Carolina, the 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