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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Oct. 5, 2007

UNC’s Destiny bus comes to Kings Mountain, Denver, Kannapolis

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 Kings Mountain High School, East Lincoln High School and A.L. Brown High School next week.

Tuesday (Oct. 9)
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Kings Mountain High School
500 Phifer Road, Kings Mountain
Students from Mercedes Humphries’ college placement 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.

Tuesday (Oct. 9)
9:38 a.m. to 11:08 a.m.
11:16 a.m. to 12:41 p.m.
Kings Mountain High School
500 Phifer Road, Kings Mountain
During the same visit, students from two of Kelly Grier’s chemistry 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 learn how to use a spectrophotometer, measure absorbencies, collect quantitative data and produce a standard curve to find the protein content in each sample.

Wednesday (Oct. 10)
11:44 a.m. to 1:19 p.m.
East Lincoln High School
6471 Hwy. 73, Denver
Students from one of Heather Ramsay’s honors biology classes will also perform “Mystery of the Crooked Cell.”

Thursday (Oct. 11)
8:45 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.
12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.  
A.L. Brown High School
415 East First Street, Kannapolis
Students from one of April Baucom’s honors biology classes and one of her advanced placement 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.

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. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” and “The Crucial Concentration” are developed from Boston University School of Medicine CityLab modules. 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: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu