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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Dec. 6, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science program brings bus to Yanceyville

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 Bartlett Yancey High School next week.

Monday (Dec. 10)
8:05 a.m. to 9:42 a.m.
9:49 a.m. to 11:19 a.m.
Bartlett Yancey High School
466 E. Main St., Yanceyville
Students from one of Elizabeth Pressley’s college preparation biology classes and one of her honors 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.

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 module described above is among 14 offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” was developed from Boston University School of Medicine CityLab modules.

Monday’s visit is made possible through support from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program at the National Institutes of Health. SEPA is a current principal funder of UNC’s Destiny traveling science learning program, and it has supported the development of the Caswell Destiny partnership through providing professional development for Caswell teachers, learning experiences for Caswell students on board Destiny’s traveling science laboratories and in the classroom, and activities to engage and inform the Caswell community about science education.

Elizabeth Pressley completed a Destiny teacher workshop to learn how to incorporate the “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” curriculum module into her classroom, which also made her eligible to request a school visit from one of Destiny’s traveling science laboratories.

Destiny’s other current principal funders are the state of North Carolina 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:

Destiny contact: Claire Ruocchio, (919) 843-5915 or
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or