KY-H.E.R.O.S. (Health Education Rural Outreach Scientists) is a health science education program that partners the largest science center in Kentucky with Science Heroes – important regional biomedical research scientists. The Science Heroes their stories and their studies serve as inspiration to our rural audience. The project objectives are to: (1) Convey the relevance of health science research to people’s daily lives and promote awareness of healthy lifestyle choices and wellness; (2) Promote understanding of the fundamental principles of the scientifc process and inspire K-12 teachers to incorporate current research into their teaching of health science; and (3) Encourage students to pursue advanced science education and increase awareness of the wide range of health science related careers. The Science Center working with the distinguished Science Heroes their research teams and a group of 15 knowledgeable professional advisors will develop the new KY-H.E.R.O.S. science education program. The program will include new hands-on labs and demonstrations teacher training workshops career exploration activities interactive videoconferencing distance learning links and innovative public programs. Using museum-based exhibits and a wet lab traveling exhibit components telelinking (distance learning) an interactive website and printed and electronic materials we will present information about the work of the Science Heroes and its relevance to the lives of participants. The focus of the program will change every two years to feature three different scientists and their work. A total of nine scientists will be included during the 5 year period covered by the SEPA grant. As the focus changes every two years to a different three scientists all the programs and exhibits will be changed accordingly. KY-H.E.R.O.S. will be designed to serve audiences composed of school groups on field trips; teachers in workshops; classes in remote areas of the state participatng through videoconferencing; underserved groups including economically disadvantaged minorities and young women; and the family audience that makes up about 60% of the Science Center’s annual attendance. Formative and summative evaluation will be conducted by an outside firm to ensure effectiveness.
Taking place at the Louisville Science Center this project will partner nine rotating important regional biomedical research scientists and develop a new science education program with statewide impact called KY-HEROS. Exhibits and programs describing the scientists- research will also rotate. The scientists and their research teams will serve as role models for young people to encourage their continued participation in the health sciences. The program will use demonstrations video-conferencing distance-learning links public programs museum exhibits a wet lab traveling exhibit components an interactive Web site and printed materials to disseminate information.