This is a Phase I proposal to develop a three-part program in health sciences for upper-level elementary and middle-school children (4th-8th graders) and their teachers. The program will consist of: A developmentally aligned intellectually exciting hands-on curriculum in the human health sciences designed to apply state-of-the-art technology to link modern concepts of cell and molecular biology and physiology to disease prevention (Body-works) An engaging age-appropriate child-centered program in epidemiology (Disease Detectives) Recruitment and training of health science guides (HSGs) to work with school personnel to help introduce health-science concepts assist with in-school after-school and summer enrichment activities provide support for teachers and serve as change facilitators HSGs will be recruited from among students and faculty of the Medical Public Health and Nursing Schools of Emory University the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control as well as qualified professionals from local hospitals and health-related corporate entities. HSGs will commit a minimum of six hours per month of training and service in local elementary and middle schools including an initial orientation in inquiry-science pedagogical approaches as applied to the health sciences a monthly 90-minute evening seminar and a final two-hour session for analysis and evaluation. HSGs will be assigned individually or in teams to a school in one of the three metro Atlanta school systems: Atlanta DeKalb County or Decatur City to help organize and lead a variety of health science programs including afters-chool health science clubs Saturday academies classroom visits summer camps and staff development workshops. HSGs will also provide training and mentoring in health science for the undergraduate science partners of the Elementary Science Education Partners program.
Addtional Abstract 1: Health Science Guides (HSG) is a three-part program in the health sciences for middle school children (grades 4th-8th) and their teachers. The program consists of: Recruitment and training of post-baccalaureate trainees as health science guides (HSGs) to work with school personnel to help introduce health-science concepts assist with in-school after-school and summer enrichment activities provide support and serve as agents of change A developmentally aligned hands-on curriculum in the health sciences (Busy Body) that is designed to apply technology to link cell and molecular biology to disease prevention An engaging age-appropriate electronic adventure game in neurobiology called “Brain Voyager” Public health nursing and medical students from Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine are assigned individually or in teams to a school in one of the four metro metro Atlanta school systems – City of Atlanta Fulton County Dekalb County or Decatur City – to help organize and lead a variety of health science programs including after-school health science clubs classroom visits and staff development workshops. Recruitment and Training: A variety of strategies are used to gain access to post-baccalaureate nursing public health and medical students from Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Working collaboratively with university officials we have been highly successful in generating interest particularly among public health students. The HSGs and middle school teachers attend collaborative planning sessions during which the teams discuss the nature and needs of middle school children participate in interactive health science activities and design a program to fit the specific needs of the local schools. Program Implementation: To date over 100 HSG students have been recruited and trained. They are currently working in interdisciplinary teams facilitating inquiry-based health science in 11 middle school programs in the metro Atlanta area. Teacher comments: “Thank-you! I have new insight to a new way of interacting with my children.” “My children were enthused…each week they waited for the HSGs to arrive!” “The HSGs made my children think more critically.” “The team used a variety of strategies…cooperative groups hands-on instruction…they made it fun.” “The students got their attention!” Addtional Abstract 2: Health Science Guides (HSG) was a two-part program in the health sciences for middle school children (grades 5-8) and their teachers. Aims were to provide experiences that enhance science content knowledge promote an emphasis on scientific evidence and problem-solving in health education instruction encourage teacher acceptance of pedagogical change and convey the importance and excitement of the biomedical sciences. Part 1 was an education intervention effort in which public health nursing and medical students from Emory University Morehouse School of Medicine and Georgia State University were recruited and trained as health science guides partners (HSGPs ). HSGPs committed 30 hours per semester to work with school personnel. Assigned in teams of three or four to a school that applied for an HSGP team they helped introduce science concepts into the health education curriculum and served as agents of pedagogical change. They assisted the teacher by organizing and leading a variety of health science programs that involve children in in-school classroom visits after-school health science clubs a Saturday Health Science Academy and a Summer Science Adventure Camp. Activities in all of these venues were designed to emphasize hands-on problem-solving experiences that provide a science base for health information and promote risk-avoidance behavior among students. The program placed a total of 138 HSGPs with 30 teachers in four metro Atlanta school districts to establish semester-long relationships with over 3000 children. Part 2 of the HSG program was a curriculum development project to create an electronic adventure game in neurobiology called “The Brain Voyager Adventure Game.” “Brain Voyager” is a web/CD-based program that couches a learning adventure experience on brain structure and function in the context of an interactive 3D graphics problem-solving game for teenagers. The main scenario places the learner in a series of different brain-related missions diving into the brain in living 3D graphics as the pilot of the “Brain Voyager” Bantam submarine that has been miniaturized to cell size. Designed to meet NSES and NHES goals in inquiry and content the program poses problems of neurobiology and how nerves are organized and function in the brain and sensory systems. Each problem activity (“node”) leads the player through a guided learning cycle that encourages the attainment of a certain parcel of information (concept definition visual image of a structure physical or conceptual relationship etc.) before moving on to the next node. HSG was terminated in December 2000 but the website is still active at: http://cellbio.emory.edu/hsg.