NEWS SERVICES 

210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210
 


T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279
www.unc.edu/news/ 
news@unc.edu

Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Nov. 9, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus visits Graham and Jamestown

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, next week when it visits Graham High School and Middle College High School at Guilford Technical Community College.

Tuesday (Nov. 13)
8:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road, Graham
Students from one of Leslie Horne’s advanced placement environmental science classes will perform a lab exercise called “BioBusiness.” Students will discover how businesses use recombinant DNA technology to tailor products to meet customers’ needs. Using genetic engineering techniques, students will explore the mechanisms of gene expression and gene selection.

Tuesday (Nov. 13)
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road, Graham
During the same visit, students from one of Valerie Jones’ biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “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.

Wednesday (Nov. 14)
1:40 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
3:20 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Middle College High School at Guilford Technical Community College
601 High Point Road, Jamestown
Students from two of Faith Brown Johnson’s classes will perform a lab exercise called “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 will learn how to use a spectrophotometer, measure absorbencies, collect quantitative data and produce a standard curve to find the protein content in each sample.

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. “The Crucial Concentration” was developed from a Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module.

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