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Media Advisory

For immediate use

Nov. 2, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus visits Williamston for first time, also Manteo, Plymouth

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 Manteo High School, Plymouth High School and Williamston High School next week. This visit is the Destiny program’s first to Williamston.

Tuesday (Nov. 6)
8:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
9:25 a.m. to 11 a.m.
11:05 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.
1:10 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
Manteo High School
616 Wingina Avenue, Manteo
Students from two of Angela Gard’s and two of Pat Holland’s 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. 7)
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Plymouth High School
East Main Street, Plymouth
Students from two of Alma Phifer’s biology classes will also perform “From Finches to Fishes,” described above.

Thursday (Nov. 8)
7:45 a.m. to 9:21 a.m.
11:04 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
Williamston High School
1260 Godwin Avenue, Williamston
Students from one of Tonya Little’s general biology classes and one of her advanced placement biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Mystery of the Crooked Cell.” They 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. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study. “Mystery of the Crooked Cell” 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:

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