The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Public Health (SPH) in collaboration with the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) proposes to conduct EH-STEP a three-year Phase II Dissemination project. Approximately 2000 educators and 40000 students nationwide will improve their basic science and math skills while learning to reduce their exposure to potential pollutants that may then prevent environment-related illnesses and diseases. SPH/EOHSI will direct this project in partnership with seven Regional Education and Training Centers (RETC) comprising Community Outreach and Education Programs from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ (NIEHS) Centers of Excellence based at Oregon State University University of Arizona University of Southern California University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston University of Wisconsin-Madison Vanderbilt University and Wayne State University. Partners also include scientists from these centers and the Toxicology Education Foundation (TEF). These diverse partners will ensure that the project is translatable nationwide. A curriculum dissemination through professional development model will be utilized. The model comprises four main components EHS curricula train-the-trainer workshops teacher training and scientist involvement and will expand on two of EOHSI’s successful nationwide professional development and curriculum dissemination programs: the ToxRAP TM (Toxicology Risk Assessment and Pollution) Network a joint program with the University of Arizona supported by NIEHS and the ToxRAP TM Education and Training Program supported by TEF. EH-STEP will use curricular materials for this initiative that focus on environmental health issues relevant to students’ lives. ToxRAP TM an award-winning EHS curriculum series developed by EOHSI with support from NIEHS will serve as the initial curriculum for dissemination. A curriculum selection board will identify additional materials/programs to be included. RETC-designated teams will attend train-the-trainer workshops on implementing the selected curricula as well as designing and delivering effective teacher training programs. Each RETC will be responsible for developing and providing trainings and curricular materials to K-12 teachers in its region. A scientist involvement advisory board will help develop strategies for scientists to interact with teachers/students and to encourage students to pursue careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences research. Ongoing support will be provided through Internet-based technologies. Formative and summative measures will be used to analyze project effectiveness.
This project seeks to enable students nationwide to improve their basic science and math skills while learning to reduce their exposure to potential pollutants and possibly prevent environment-related diseases and illnesses. Environmental health sciences (EHS) curricular materials will be disseminated through professional development opportunities for teachers provided by an active network of Regional Education and Training Centers (RETCs). Community Outreach and Education Programs (COEPs) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Centers of Excellence at Oregon State University University of Arizona University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey University of Southern California University of Texas Medical Branch University of Wisconsin-Madison Vanderbilt University and Wayne State University are participating as RETCs. The EH-STEP model includes award-winning K-12 EHS curricula (such as UMDNJ’s ToxRAP curriculum series) train-the-trainer workshops for RETCs teacher professional development programs and scientist involvement and is based on successful educational initiatives supported by the Toxicology Education Foundation the Society of Toxicology and the NIEHS.