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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Dec. 7, 2007

UNC’s Destiny science bus to visit Sanford, Cameron and Erwin

Media representatives are invited to experience hands-on science aboard Destiny and Discovery, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s two traveling science laboratories, when they visit Lee County High School, Southern Lee High School, Union Pines High School and Triton High School next week. This visit will be Destiny’s first to Southern Lee High School.

Tuesday (Dec. 11)
8 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
9:41 a.m. to 11:11 a.m.
11:45 a.m. to 1:23 p.m.
Lee County High School
1708 Nash Street, Sanford
Students from three of Jalynn McDonald’s 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.

Wednesday (Dec. 12)
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
9:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
1:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Union Pines High School
1981 Union Church Road, Cameron
Students from two of Karen Griffin’s honors biology classes and two of Glenn Caviness’ classes will also perform “Mystery of the Crooked Cell,” described above.

Wednesday (Dec. 12)
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
11:53 a.m. to 1:23 p.m.
Southern Lee High School
2301 Tramway Road, Sanford
Students from two of Donna Ansted’s classes will perform a lab exercise called “From Finches to Fishes.” Students will learn the fundamental principles of evolution and natural selection. Protein gel electrophoresis will be used to acquire molecular data with which students 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.

Thursday (Dec. 13)
11:24 a.m. to 12:59 p.m.
1:05 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.
Triton High School
215 Maynard Lake Road, Erwin
Students from two of Kathy Pope’s honors biology classes will perform a lab exercise called “BioBusiness.” Students will discover how businesses use recombinant DNA technology to tailor products to meet customers’ needs. Using genetic engineering techniques, students will explore the mechanisms of gene expression and gene selection.

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” 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.

All of the above mentioned teachers attended teacher workshops to learn how to incorporate these particular Destiny curriculum modules into their classrooms, which also made them eligible to request school visits from 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:

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