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Media Advisory

For immediate use:

Jan. 4, 2008

UNC’s Destiny science bus to visit Durham students

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 Southern High School and Hillside High School next week. It will be Destiny’s first visit to Southern High School.

Tuesday (Jan. 8)
7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
9:06 a.m. to 10:36 a.m.
11:20 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Southern High School
800 Clayton Road, Durham
Students from two of Tammy Chance’s and two of Shawnda Herring’s 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.

Wednesday (Jan. 9)
7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
9:10 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.
Hillside High School
3727 Fayetteville St. Durham
Students from two of Carolyn Snipes’ 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 modules described above are among 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. The teachers mentioned above attended 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. Created by in 2000, Destiny became a program of UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in 2006.

Destiny Web site:
Destiny contact: Claire Ruocchio, or Karen Kornegay, (919) 843-7952
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or