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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Dec. 14, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus to visit Monroe academy for first time

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 the Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Union County for the first time next week.

Thursday (Dec. 20)
10:20 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.
Central Academy of Technology and Arts
600 Brewer Drive, Monroe
Students from one of Tonya Adams’ honors physical science 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 module described above is one of 14 offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. “The Crucial Concentration” 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.

Tonya Adams attended a teacher workshop to learn how to incorporate this particular Destiny curriculum module into her classroom, which also made her eligible to request a school visit from one of 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