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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Nov. 16, 2007

UNC Destiny bus and Rep. Brad Miller to visit Creedmoor school

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 South Granville High School of Engineering and Applied Studies in Creedmoor next week.

Note: U.S. Rep. Brad Miller is expected to board the traveling science laboratory at 8:49 a.m. and stay for the duration of the first class.

Tuesday (Nov. 20)
8:49 a.m. to 10:19 a.m.
10:23 a.m. to 11:53 a.m.
South Granville High School of Engineering and Applied Studies
701 N. Crescent Drive, Creedmoor
Students from two of Deborah Gaul’s biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “Get a Clue.” They 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.

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.

Rep. Miller will witness an example of the positive impact that UNC’s Destiny program has had on students and teachers in his district and across North Carolina. Since the program’s inception, more than 250,000 students have benefited from Destiny’s traveling science laboratories and innovative curriculum. During the 2006-2007 academic year alone, Destiny served 7,114 students through wet-lab instruction provided by Destiny educators on the traveling labs or in classrooms at 158 schools across North Carolina. The program also trained 268 teachers to use Destiny curriculum at professional development workshops last school year.

Destiny, which first hit the road in 2000, was created to address a need expressed by teachers and school systems in our state. Many of North Carolina’s secondary schools, particularly those in rural areas, lack access to the resources essential for quality science education, resulting in fewer students pursuing science careers and more science teachers leaving the profession. 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.

Destiny’s current principal funders are the state of North Carolina, the Science Education Partnership Award Program in the National Center for Research Resources and GlaxoSmithKline. Additional support comes from Bio-Rad Laboratories and Medtronic, Inc.

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