A consortium of innovative basic science researchers museum educators civic leaders and volunteers propose a unique partnership to reduce the incidence and prevalence of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) a growing problem among children and adults. To address this critical public health concern a unique public/private partnership including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) the Oregon Hearing Research Center at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) and Oregon and Southwest Washington elementary and secondary schools propose a regional campaign to significantly reduce the prevalence of preventable hearing loss and tinnitus. The project is comprised of three freestanding but interlocking components that create a strong public health campaign against Noise Induced Hearing Loss. These components are: Exhibitry Curriculum Research We propose a three phase five-year program directly targeting school-age youth using established volunteer and volunteer training programs among each of the participating institutions: Phase I: Prototype exhibit development and full production of one exhibit incorporating education entertainment and pre-post knowledge evaluation; test-ready curriculum; draft evaluation tools and hearing screening capabilities for data acquisition. Phase II: Classroom presentations with exhibitry and data acquisition in six Oregon and Southwest Washington sites for pilot testing. Phase III: Regional model program and implementation strategy for hearing science education and hearing loss prevention. Program evaluation analysis will include research results regarding subject factors and noise induced hearing loss in children.
Dangerous Decibels is designed as a model program for schools and communities around the country on how to teach young people about the value of their hearing how hearing is damaged and how to protect hearing. The project has brought together a consortium of innovative basic science researchers museum educators civic leaders and volunteers in a unique public/private partnership to reduce the incidence and prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss. OMSI is working with the Oregon Hearing Research Center at the Oregon Health Sciences University the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center National Center of Rehabilitative Auditory Research the American Tinnitus Association and Oregon and Southwest Washington elementary and secondary schools. The project is comprised of three free-standing but interlocking components that create a strong regional model program and implementation strategy for hearing science education and hearing loss prevention. These components are exhibitry curriculum and research. The project will include a full exhibit on the floor at OMSI; curriculum assemblies and kits for schools and communities; and research dissemination and data acquisition.