Nutrition & Human Growth-enhancing Middle School Science (Phase I)

  • Abstract

    In this Science Education Partnership a model of collaboration in the design of materials for science education in the middle grades (5-8) will be developed and tested. Biomedical researchers from The Ohio State University will collaborate with science teachers recruited from Hilliard Grandview Heights and Worthington (Ohio) School Districts to develop two modules of age-appropriate hands-on laboratory experiments dealing with the human skeleton nutrition and development of the human body. The modules will complement the OSU biomedical research project Influence of Calcium on Bone Mass which will simultaneously be initiated using subjects from the school districts. The exercises in the modules will emphasize hypothesis generation student designed tests of hypotheses and the mathematical treatment of data. This project extends acknowledged successful strategies of hands-on age-appropriate content rich science education by making the student the object of his own study and by injecting a more sophisticated understanding of science through experience with research. Students will see themselves as subjects as members of age cohorts and families and as members of society with many roles to play. By designing experiments and manipulating data they will come to understand science as a process while learning course content about life as a process. The project will be evaluated on four levels: 1) The attitudes of students before and after the pilot test of the modules will be assessed; 2) Student mastery of the content of the exercises will be evaluated on an ongoing basis; 3) The content validity and usefulness of the modules will be evaluated by the district co-investigators; 4) The model partnership and process of collaboration will be scrutinized by all participants.