Conociendo Tu Cuerpo (Know Your Body) combines the power of media with the immediate engagement of hands-on activities to bring science to the Hispanic community via local media outlets community festivals after-school programs and school events in order to educate Hispanic students and families about the human body how it works and how to pursue careers related to biomedical research and health. The project is part of the Self Reliance Foundation’s Celebra la Ciencia initiative which has the mission of increasing the involvement of Hispanic students and families in informal science. The project includes hands-on exhibits; classroom and after-school workshops; informational resources on science health and biomedical research careers and media outreach delivered by a coalition of organizations in the Washington D.C. area including Hispanic Communications Network El Pregonero (Spanish-language newspaper) the Latin American Youth Center Community Science Workshop the National Zoo Science Museum of Virginia D.C. Asthma Coalition National Aquarium Hands-On Science Outreach Discovery Creek Children’s Museum the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History. Project components include: 25 interactive exhibits and activities on the human body including a take-apart human skeleton models of the brain quizzes on “fun facts” about the body a balance beam x-rays visual illusions puzzles and brainteasers take-apart models of the human torso heart lungs and other parts of the body and many others “Sensational Science” a 20-minute interactive show on the five senses Information resources on health topics healthy recipes careers in biomedical research and health and take-home activities A curriculum of enrichment activities provided to after-school programs and classrooms Educational radio segments in Spanish produced and disseminated nationally through SRF’s media partner Hispanic Communications Network An educational website (www.celebralaciencia.org) with resources for students teachers and parents A weekly Spanish-language Family Science Newspaper Page that includes a role model profile of a Latino scientist a science activity to do at home a calendar of local family science events and an article advising parents on ways of getting their children more involved in science
The Self-Reliance Foundation (SRF) Conociendo Tu Cuerpo (Know Your Body) Hispanic Community Health Sciences Education project is an initiative designed to introduce Hispanic students and families to biomedical science and health education resources and increase their participation levels in these fields. The educational goals of the project are to: Encourage Hispanic undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedicine and science through a mentoring program at the university level Inspire an interest in biomedical science among Hispanic elementary-age students and parents through community outreach activities Inform Hispanic parents about biomedical science education standards and academic requirements for pursuing biomedical and science related careers Inform and inspire Hispanic students and their families about the biomedical sciences and related careers through a series of daily nationally broadcast Spanish-language radio capsules and a nationally syndicated Spanish newspaper column Conociendo Tu Cuerpo (Know Your Body) includes several key components: A model Washington D.C. area coalition of informal science health community education and media organizations that will publicize and provide hands-on health science activities at community festivals and other community settings; Hispanic undergraduate student health-science fellows to be trained and provided experience in facilitating health science activities; and nationally broadcast Spanish-language radio capsules that will cover topics in areas of biomedicine research education and health-science careers. Parents and students will be able to access additional information about biomedical science opportunities and Hispanic role models in the biomedical sciences through the project’s Conociendo Tu Cuerpo website and the bilingual 800 telephone help line promoted by 147 participating radio stations and 102 newspapers nationwide. The project will be supported at the national level through collaboration with the Hispanic Radio Network and the Pacific Science Center. The Washington D.C. collaborative will include the Capital Children’s Museum local Spanish language radio stations area universities and health and community organizations. Development Associates the largest American education and evaluation consulting corporation will evaluate the project.
National dissemination of educational radio programs and newspaper features Science festivals at community events Educational website
Formative evaluation of the project focused on the appeal relevance and accessibility of radio programs and exhibits. Focus group results with adults indicate overall a very positive reception to the radio programs. Observations of exhibit usage indicate that the exhibits foster cooperative learning among peers and family. Self-report surveys indicate that participants learn from the exhibits and are motivated to visit museums and access other informal learning resources. Impact evaluation includes: Focus groups to determine the appeal relevance and educational impact of educational radio programs Observations of students and surveys of teachers to determine the educational impact of outreach exhibits and workshops
Resources for Sharing
Hands-on activities on how the body works Ideas for tabletop exhibits and activities for events Spanish-language radio programs on the human body biomedical research and related careers Electronic versions of the Spanish-language newspaper page that can be adapted for local publication Resource website listing science education resources (www.celebralaciencia.org) Listing on website as an educational resource
Hispanic children and families
Informal science and health education