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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Nov. 21, 2007

Olin students learn science aboard UNC’s Destiny bus

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 North Iredell High School next week.

Tuesday (Nov. 27)
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
1:35 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.
North Iredell High School
156 Raider Road, Olin
Students from two of Scott Childers’ honors 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.

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. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

Tuesday’s visit is made possible through support from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), Science Education Partnership Award Program (SEPA) at the National Institutes of Health. SEPA is a current principal funder of UNC’s Destiny traveling science learning program, and it has supported the development of the Iredell-Statesville Destiny partnership through providing professional development for Iredell-Statesville teachers, learning experiences for Iredell-Statesville students on board Destiny’s traveling science laboratories and in the classroom, and activities to engage and inform the Iredell community about science education.

Destiny’s other current principal funders are the state of North Carolina 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