Contemporary Science Center Launches Summer Camp and Curriculum


                         Partner Field
                                   Studies


  RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Contemporary Science Center
(CSC) is pleased to announce the launch of its first programs, with
sponsorship from Progress Energy, MCNC and Inspire Pharmaceuticals. 
The CSC is introducing two programs this year. The Curriculum Partners
Field Studies program, sponsored by Progress Energy and Inspire
Pharmaceuticals, will enable teachers across North Carolina to bring their
science students for a daylong field study to RTP. Students will get to spend
a day experiencing authentic science and doing real experiments from RTP
companies. These studies, eighteen months in development, put teenagers in the
roles of scientists faced with real problems from Inspire and Constella, from
figuring out the right dosage of a new compound for Cystic Fibrosis to
developing better practices for paramedics to prevent blood exposure. 
"Our goal at the Contemporary Science Center is to change teenagers'
experience of science -- and, by that, to entice more students across North
Carolina to continue studying science and math, and to consider careers in
science," said Pamela Blizzard, executive director of the CSC. 
Progress Energy and Inspire are pleased to sponsor this program and its
efforts to bring the best of RTP to high school students across the state. 
"The field study program will enable students to get excited about math
and science through hands-on experiments," said Tammy Brown, manager of
community relations for Progress Energy. "We are pleased to be one of the
original sponsors of what we expect will be a successful program for the
Contemporary Science Center and a rewarding experience for students." 
The Entrepreneurs in Science (EIS) Summer Camp, sponsored by MCNC, will
combine science explorations from Inspire Pharmaceuticals and The Constella
Group with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development's entrepreneurism
curriculum. The EIS summer camp for teenagers will be a week long immersion in
the science and start-ups that make Research Triangle Park unique. 
"These activities align well with MCNC's mission to promote technology-led
economic development and job creation in North Carolina," said David Rizzo,
chief executive officer and president of MCNC. "The summer camp and the
Contemporary Science Center will inspire future entrepreneurs and scientists." 
The Contemporary Science Center is a science education venture that
enables teenagers across North Carolina to experience cutting-edge discoveries
from Research Triangle Park companies. The CSC works with RTP companies to re-create their key scientific discoveries into daylong experiences that high
school students can interact with. These studies will be led by CSC staff
teachers at sites in the Triangle area. The Contemporary Science Center
currently has two studies linked with high school biology and math, and is in
conversation with new RTP companies for new field studies.
Visit www.contemporarysciencecenter.org for more information. 
  About MCNC 
MCNC is a private, independent, non-profit corporation established in 1980
to advance technology-led economic development and job creation throughout
North Carolina. MCNC Research & Development Institute develops new
technologies through its own initiatives and as a research partner for the
U.S. government, conducting advanced and applied research across a broad
technology spectrum, including microsystems, flexible electronics, sensor
development, signal electronics, wireless systems, microfabrication, high-speed secure networks and grid computing. MCNC Grid Computing & Networking
Services delivers advanced communications resources statewide to more than 180
public and private institutions, including universities, community colleges,
K-12 schools, libraries, state government, private research institutions and
commercial businesses. MCNC Ventures provides early-stage funding and
assistance to entrepreneurial start-up companies. The MCNC family of companies
is located in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. For more information,
please visit www.mcnc.org . 
  Progress Energy (formerly CP&L) (NYSE: PGN), is headquartered in Raleigh
and is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 23,000
megawatts of generation capacity and $8 billion in annual revenues. The
company's holdings include two electric utilities serving more than
2.8 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress
Energy also includes non-regulated operations covering merchant generation,
energy marketing, natural gas exploration, fuel extraction, rail services and
broadband capacity. 
  The Progress Energy Foundation was formed in November 2000, following the
merger of CP&L and the Florida Progress Corporation. Although the name is new,
Progress Energy has a long-standing relationship with the communities it
serves through its utility companies. The foundation partners with non-profits
in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina to improve customers' lives.
Grants focus on education, the environment and economic development. During
2003, the foundation invested almost $9 million in the communities it serves. 
  Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discovers and develops new drugs to treat
diseases characterized by deficiencies in the body's innate defense mechanisms
of mucosal hydration and mucociliary clearance, as well as other non-mucosal
disorders. These mechanisms are the natural way that the body defends its
mucosal surfaces against dust, pollutants, bacteria and viruses. Mucosal
hydration involves the moistening of the body's mucosal surfaces, and
mucociliary clearance involves a blanket-like movement of fluid and particles
from the lungs and sinuses. Mucosal surfaces are tissues containing
specialized cells that lubricate and protect surfaces of organs that are
directly exposed to the outside environment, such as the lungs, eyes and
sinuses. Our lead products target respiratory and ophthalmic diseases with
inadequate current treatments and which represent large market opportunities.
We have advanced one product to an NDA and have four additional product
candidates in clinical development. We have development and commercialization
alliances with Allergan, Inc., Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Kirin
Brewery Co., Ltd. Our products are based on our proprietary technology
relating to P2Y receptors. We are exploring other target diseases where we
believe P2Y receptors play important biological roles.
  

SOURCE  Contemporary Science Center 


    -0-                             02/02/2004
    /NOTE TO EDITORS:  Photos available on request./


/CONTACT:  Mary Bennett, Sr. VP, Operations and Director of Communications
of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, +1-919-287-1245, or mbennett@inspirepharm.com;
Scott Yates, Director of Communications of MCNC, +1-919-248-1907, or
syates@mcnc.org; Merrilee Jacobson, Contributions Specialist of Progress
Energy, +1-919-546-6441, or merrilee.jacobson@pgnmail.com; or Pamela Blizzard,
Executive Director of the Contemporary Science Center, +1-919-426-4274, or
Pamela@contemporarysciencecenter.org/ 


    /Web site:  http://www.contemporarysciencecenter.org
                http://www.mcnc.org
                http://www.progress-energy.com /


(PGN) 
CO:  Contemporary Science Center; Progress Energy, Inc.; MCNC Research & 
 Development Institute; Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
ST:  North Carolina
IN:  UTI HEA EDU
SU:  CHI NPT
-0- Feb/02/2004 15:23 GMT