Peabody Fellows Biodiversity and Human Health Program

  • Abstract

    New Haven has been identified as one of the most needy districts for science reform with only 10.8% of urban students meeting state goals in science. In 1997 the Peabody Museum of Natural History of Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools joined forces to improve the quality of science teaching and learning in the New Haven community by establishing the Peabody Fellows Program. The well-documented success and excitement of this initiative and the request of New Haven Public School administrators to integrate science and health issues compelled us to propose the development and implementation of a new program the Peabodv Fellows Biodiversity and Human Health Program. Data show that 78% of K-6 New Haven teachers do less than two hours per week of hands-on science in the classroom and 70% of those teachers receive less than five hours of staff development in science. Accordingly this Program is designed to be a rigorous teacher-training program that involves teacher- designed science curriculum and the use of interactive mobile science units BioAction Lab I and ll. The target audience is New Haven science teachers and students (90% minority 50% female) and their families. The scientific content of the newly designed Peabody Fellows Program is focused on the fundamental relationship between biodiversity and human health. Specifically the Program aims to build science literacy and demonstrate how the study of science can contribute to human health and well being. Consortium members represent the following institutions: Yale University (Peabody Museum of Natural History School of Epidemiology & Public Health in Yale University School of Medicine Yale Child Study Center Yale University Health Services Center) New Haven Public School System Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station New Haven Natural Guard and Connecticut Academy for Education in Math Science and Technology. Together this consortium will work to educate and train teachers and stuents in four broad themes that link biodiversity and health: (l) Plant Biodiversity/Medicinal and Food Resources; (2) Vertebrate Biodiversity/Food Resources; (3) Invertebrate Biodiversity/Pathogens; (4) Environmental Changes/Health Risks. Extensive formative and summative evaluations conducted in collaboration with the Yale Child Study Center will assist in the Program’s development. All curriculum designed as a result of this Program will be an integral part of New Haven School District’s science curriculum for grades 3-8 and serve as a model for the writing of additional curriculum units. In Year IV the Peabody Fellows Biodiversity and Human Health Program and its associated curriculum will be placed on the Museum website for maximum dissemination and accessibility.

  • Additional Information

    This museum/school partnership will develop and implement a teacher-training program teacherdesigned curricula for grades 3-8 and community outreach activities that focus on relationships between biodiversity and health. the museum will enhance its BioAction Lab a mobile unit that contains hands-on life science specimens microscopes and other laboratory equipment. This project is built on an existing program with established partnerships that facilitate integrating the curricula into the schools. The partners in the Peabody Fellows Biodiversity and Human Health Program the Peabody Museum of Natural History several components of Yale University the New Haven Public School System the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station the New Haven Solar Youth and the Connecticut Academy for Education in Math Science and Technology.