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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Dec. 14, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus to visit Huntersville and Charlotte

Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Destiny, one of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two traveling science laboratories, when it visits Hopewell High School and E.E. Waddell High School next week.

Tuesday (Dec. 18)
7:15 a.m. to 8:50 a.m
9 a.m. to 10:25 a.m.
Hopewell High School
11530 Beatties Ford Road, Huntersville
Students from two of Leigh Ann Williams’ microbiology 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 (Dec. 19)
7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
E.E. Waddell High School
7030 Nations Ford Road, Charlotte
Students from one of Tamica Stubbs’ greenhouse biology classes and one of her honors biology classes will also perform “Mystery of the Crooked Cell,” described above.

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 one of 14 offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” was 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 above mentioned teachers attended teacher workshops to learn how to incorporate “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” into their classrooms, which also made them eligible to request school visits from the Destiny traveling science laboratories.

Destiny’s 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