Curriculum

The DESTINY curriculum is...


  • Inquiry-Based
    DESTINY curriculum challenges students to answer questions or solve problems using the tools of science. While demonstrating the relevance of science to their lives, the curriculum encourages students to think critically and creatively.
  • Standards-Based
    DESTINY delivers hands-on, inquiry-based learning modules aligned with National Science Education Standards and North Carolina Essential Standards.
  • Interdisciplinary
    DESTINY's innovative curriculum helps students build learning bridges from science to language arts and social studies. Students develop their reading, writing and critical thinking skills, while also reinforcing their grasp on science content. Each DESTINY module includes activities for English and social studies courses.

Preview DESTINY Modules
Teachers who participate in DESTINY workshops receive curriculum guides that include lesson plans, worksheets and other resources.

Some DESTINY curriculum guides are available online to educators who wish to preview them. There is no charge for these materials. Each available guide is noted in the title bar for the curriculum (below) — just click to download the DESTINY curriculum guide you want to preview. The PDF files open with Adobe Acrobat Reader, free software that is installed on most computers.

Also available for instructional use in the classroom are short MPSC youtube videos for pipetting with gel electrophoresis labs. See the individual links with the particular modules listed.

The Beat Goes On

Following lesson plans in this module, students focus on the cardiovascular system and identify the genetic and environmental factors that influence an individual's likelihood of developing heart disease. Students use EKG sensors to make graphical recordings of their hearts' electrical events, identify the waveforms produced and determine the patterns typically associated with them. Interdisciplinary activities acknowledge the serious and comic roles of the heart in literature. For biology, AP biology, anatomy and physiology, medical technology and allied health courses; includes activities for English courses.

Better Safe Than Sorry(Download the module from the NIH website)

A hands-on experiment with brine shrimp, a quiz game and other engaging activities enable students to understand the biological basis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The experiment included in the module has additional applications for lesson plans involving environmental impact on a developing organism. A National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism module. For science and health courses.

BioBusiness (Download the PDF from the Bio-Rad website)

Students discover how businesses use recombinant DNA technology to tailor products to meet customers' needs. Using genetic engineering techniques, students explore the mechanisms of gene expression and gene selection. Complementary activities enable students to experience the real world of bioscience companies, including product research and marketing. This module meets an Advanced Placement requirement. For biology courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.

Biological Bodyguards (Download the PDF from the Bio-Rad website)

Students examine the vital role that the body's immune system takes to fight illness and prevent disease. Assuming the role of medical lab technicians, students use a simulated viral extract and perform an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to screen hypothetical patients for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Additional activities help students understand the social impact of and governmental responses to epidemics and pandemics. For biology, anatomy and physiology, and allied health courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.

Brand Name Genes (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

Students play the roles of employees in a global biotech company to understand connections between BRCA genes and breast cancer. Students learn about cancerous cells, medical pedigrees, ethics of genetic testing, enzyme technology and the steps of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the two-part wet-lab, students prepare a simulated PCR and perform gel electrophoresis of actual PCR products to determine the presence of a simulated BRCA2 mutation among four siblings. Follow-up activities focus on diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. For biology, AP biology, medical technology and allied health courses.

Crucial Concentration

Students 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 learn how to use a spectrophotometer, measure absorbencies, collect quantitative data, and produce a standard curve to find the protein content in each sample. A Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module. For chemistry and biology courses.

Exploring New Environments (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

Students investigate complex relationships between organisms and the physical and biological environment, as well as the movement of energy and materials within an ecosystem through role-playing, discussion, and hands-on field experiences using a small plot of land on school grounds or a terrarium in the classroom. Complementary activities explore literary landscapes, including Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and William Blake’s “world in a grain of sand.” For Biology and Environmental Science courses; includes activities for English, social studies, and visual arts courses.

Frankenstein's Fingerprints

Scholar Jon Turney called Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein “the governing myth of modern biology.” Students use this story as a basis for exploring such topics as ethical scientific research and contemporary views of scientific discovery, particularly in the field of genetics. Students are also introduced to early scientists whose work inspired the 18-year-old Shelley to write her novel. Lesson ideas for related print and non-print texts (e.g., The Double Helix, Dawn, Gattaca, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) are included. Teachers who participate in workshops for this module receive training in Get a Clue. For biology, English, forensic science and social studies courses.

From Finches to Fishes (Download the PDF from the Bio-Rad website)

Students learn fundamental principles of evolution and natural selection through a variety of inquiry-based activities, including an imaginary trip to the Galapagos and a predation simulation. Protein gel electrophoresis is used to acquire molecular data with which students construct an evolutionary tree for five fish species. Students 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. Writing, reading, and listening exercises build interdisciplinary bridges from evolutionary biology to history and literature. For biology courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.

For assistance with instruction on the correct usage of a digital pipette, please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Using the Pipette.

For assistance with instruction on loading a polyacrylamide gel for a vertical gel electrophoresis experiment, commonly used for protein fingerprinting, please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Loading a Polyacrylamide Gel.

Get a Clue (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

Students assume the role of forensic scientists to analyze drops of “blood” and other kinds of evidence found at crime scenes as they determine which suspects are guilty or innocent. A wet-lab enables students to use DNA restriction analysis (popularly known as DNA fingerprinting). Interdisciplinary connections explore the field of forensic history and the contributions of DNA science to the humanities. This module meets an Advanced Placement requirement. (Get a Clue replaces Case of the Crown Jewels in DESTINY’s curriculum portfolio.) For biology and forensic science courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.
Learn how to include DNA Fingerprinting in your lesson plans.

For assistance with instruction on the correct usage of a digital pipette, please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Using the Pipette.

For assistance with instruction on loading a practice agarose gel and an actual gel for a horizontal gel electrophoresis experiment (commonly used for DNA fingerprinting), please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Loading an Agarose Gel.

Mystery of the Crooked Cell

Students 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. A Boston University School of Medicine CityLab module. For biology, anatomy and physiology, and allied health courses.

For assistance with instruction on the correct usage of a digital pipette, please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Using the Pipette.

For assistance with instruction on loading a practice agarose gel and an actual gel for a horizontal gel electrophoresis experiment (commonly used for DNA fingerprinting), please click on this MPSC YouTube link, Loading an Agarose Gel.

The Power Within (Download the module from the RENCI website)

Students learn fundamental concepts of evolutionary biology, leading them to understand the theory of endosymbiosis and origin of eukaryotes. A skit, "POWER Stations," and other activities help students learn about types of biological relationships, the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, classification of organisms, development of cladograms using DNA sequences and scientists who pioneered our understanding of genetic evolution. An interactive computer animation introduces students to the role of bioinformatics in scientific research and enables them to use molecular data to reconstruct phylogenetic trees. For biology and AP biology courses. Includes activities for English and social studies courses.

Same Genes, Different Fates (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

To gain an understanding about cell specialization, students investigate how the genes encoded in DNA are regulated during development. This knowledge, which provides a basis for understanding diversity and the cause of disease, is also critical for making future decisions about genetic research, regulation of genetically altered organisms, and biotechnology applications in research and industry. The wet-lab activity enables students to take on the role of the molecular biologist observing differential gene expression in transgenic Arabidopsis plants that have been modified to contain a reporter gene (gus A) that produces a blue color in the plants. For biology courses.

The State We're In (Download the PDF from the Morehead website)

While discovering the effects of environmental toxins, students gain an understanding of the interplay between scientific data and human judgment that underlies legislation. Students perform a bioassay experiment using Daphnia, an indicator species, to detect and assess what would be considered a harmful level of a toxic chemical. They analyze these and other data in order to make effective presentations in support of clean-water legislation regarding North Carolina’s mountain, piedmont, and coastal regions. For biology, chemistry and environmental science courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.

Weigh To Go! (Download the PDF from the Morehead website or from the Bio-Rad website)

Students explore connections between obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Using hydrophobic interactive chromatography, a key process in biotechnology research, students purify a genetically engineered designer protein (simulated modified leptin) from transformed bacterial cells. Additional activities help students become more aware of the obesity epidemic at global and individual levels. For biology, chemistry, health, anatomy and physiology, and allied health courses; includes activities for English and social studies courses.