PULSE: Promoting Understanding & Learning for Society & Environmental Health

  • Abstract

    PULSE (Promoting Understanding & Learning for Society & Environmental Health) is a dynamic innovative completely integrated curriculum. It is a high quality program for all students which incorporates health EH and biomedical education (biomed) as a continuous topic core through grades 9-12. A comprehensive high school program PULSE addresses four years of science social studies and language arts and math is incorporated to support the science and social studies. A career component is also incorporated. PULSE utilizes engaging inquiry driven Major Projects related to each thematic unit. Major Projects are designed so that students master academic content and transferable skills by applying new knowledge to themselves and to their community. Thus PULSE presents content in a real-world meaningful context rather than through unrelated packets of information. The NIEHS funded IMPACTT project ( Integrating Multilevel Perspectives Across Curriculum ) developed the original 9th and 10th grade modules in a two-year constructive study with experts from the University of Arizona (UA) Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) in partnership with teachers and curriculum developers from Sunnyside Unified School District (SUSD). The project was successfully piloted in a magnet school with 40 diverse ninth grade students during the 2000-2001 school year and supported 48 9th and 10th grade students during the 2001-2002 school year. In order to expand on that success the NCRR funded PULSE project will augment the exiting 9th and 10th grade modules to be used in a variety of high school settings and the develop new comprehensive integrated curricula modules for grades 11-12. The health/EH/biomed experts from the UA will partner with Tucson area teachers to create this expanded curriculum. There are four specific objectives for the project:* Create integrated modules: Develop and refine four integrated modules organized into four broad umbrella thees of The Environment (9th) World Explorations (10th) Systems (11th) and Science Government and Economics (12th). Each module will focus on health/EH/biomed while addressing major academic subjects in each grade.*Pilot the model: Pilot the model at Desert View High School (87% Hispanic 5% Native American 2% Black and 6% White) where the graduation rate is only 57 percent.*Develop training modules: Five self-contained training modules will be developed to assist teachers and schools that are adopting PULSE.*Field Test: The completed PULSE model will be field tested at another local high school. Guided by that experience the curricula and training modules will be refined and a national dissemination plan will be developed.