Alaska is a vast state with a widely dispersed population lack of road access to most communities natural barriers such as large expanses of wilderness mountain ranges rivers some of the harshest weather anywhere and high costs of travel. Providing adequate health programs services and information to Alaska’s remote and largely underserved population has proven to be a daunting task for health care administrators providers and educators. The Imaginarium plans to design and create a five-year Health Outreach Caravan program in order to educate and inform the Alaskan public about health science research so they are better equipped to make healthier lifestyle choices. The program will also be designed to stimulate Alaskan students’ interest in science particularly those students in remote rural areas of Alaska who are traditionally underrepresented in the science professions. The specific objectives of The Imaginarium’s Health Outreach Caravan are to form partnerships with the scientific public health educational and cultural communities to improve student and public understanding of health sciences; to develop mobile hands-on interactive and culturally appropriate health- related programs exhibits curricula and kits; to develop a Health Science Teen Volunteer Corps across remote culturally unique regions of Alaska to facilitate linkages between biomedical scientists village elders and local community and school programs; to train teacher aids and teachers to present handson interactive and culturally appropriate classroom health science demonstrations; and to develop culturally appropriate community health science festivals to spark interest in science and health and to improve student family and public understanding of health science issues.
This project will design and create a five-year Health Outreach Caravan program to educate and inform the Alaskan public about health science research so they are better equipped to make healthier lifestyle choices. The program will also be designed to stimulate Alaskan students- interest in science particularly those students in remote rural areas of Alaska who are traditionally under-represented in the science professions. The project will develop a mobile hands-on interactive and culturally appropriate health-related programs exhibits a curriculum and kits to travel throughout Alaska. Ancillary activities will include a teen volunteer corps teacher professional development and festivals.