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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Sept. 21, 2007

East Bend, Wilkesboro, Boone and Lenoir students to get hands-on science lesson

CHAPEL HILL – 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 Forbush High School, Wilkes Central High School, Watauga High School and Hibriten High School next week.

Tuesday (Sept. 25)
9:47 a.m. to 11:18 a.m.
1:25 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.
Forbush High School
1525 Falcon Road, East Bend

Students from one of Jim Redman’s honors biology classes and one of Gayle Norman’s 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.

Wednesday (Sept. 26)
9:42 a.m. to 11:12 a.m.
Wilkes Central High School
1179 Moravian Falls, Wilkesboro

Students from one of Marian Marley’s chemistry classes will perform a lab exercise called “Get a Clue.” 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 as they determine which suspects are guilty or innocent.

Thursday (Sept. 27)
10:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
12:20 p.m. to 1:55 p.m.
Watauga High School
400 High School Drive, Boone

Students from two of Regina Alford’s health team relations classes will perform a lab exercise called “Weigh to Go!” Students will explore the connections between obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Using hydrophobic interactive chromatography, a key process in biotechnology research, students will purify a genetically engineered designer protein (simulated modified leptin) from transformed bacterial cells. Additional activities will help students become more aware of the obesity epidemic at global and individual levels.

Thursday (Sept. 27)
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
9:35 a.m. to 11:18 a.m.
1:25 p.m. to 2:53 p.m.  
Hibriten High School
550 East Blvd., Lenoir

Students from two of Amy Bradley’s classes and one of Freda Parker’s classes will also perform “Mystery of the Crooked Cell.”

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 14 offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” is developed from a Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module. 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.moreheadplanetarium.org/go/destiny

Destiny contact: Claire Ruocchio, (919) 843-5915 or clr@unc.edu
News Services contact: Becky Oskin, (919) 962-8596 or becky_oskin@unc.edu