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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Nov. 30, 2007

Wilson students to 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 Fike High School for the first time next week.

Thursday (Dec. 6)
8 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.
9:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.
Fike High School
500 Harrison Drive, Wilson
Students from two of Debra Stokley’s health team relations classes will perform a lab exercise called “Weigh to Go!” Students will explore the connections between obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Using hydrophobic interactive chromatography, a key process in biotechnology research, students will purify a genetically engineered designer protein (simulated modified leptin) from transformed bacterial cells.

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. “Weigh to Go!” is one of 14 modules offered as part of Destiny’s curriculum. It was developed through support from the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program of the National Center for Research Resources. All of Destiny’s modules are aligned with the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

Destiny’s current principal funders are the state of North Carolina, the SEPA Program 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