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SEPA: Science Education Partnership Award

The Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center is creating a curriculum for a NIH Science Education Partnership Award that is completely integrated around environmental health and biomedical themes, includes all required subjects, and intends to provide students with an excellent education. It is an outgrowth of the IMPACTT project conducted by COEP for the past three years. In April of 2003, COEP received final approval to initiate science education research in partnership with South Valley Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We will create approximately sixteen modules that combine science, reading, writing, math, and social studies. We hope to make science important and interesting to high school students and to interest them in some aspect of human health as a career.
These projects are designed for students’ mastery of academic content and transferable skills. Students apply new knowledge to their assignments and to their community. Thus, IMPACTT presents content in a real-world, meaningful context, rather than through unrelated packets of information. Teachers are invited to join IMPACTT to field test the curriculum. For this project, the University of Arizona will study the IMPACTT lessons, to determine the usefulness of this new integrated curriculum. The study will last three years. Eventually at least 900 students and 75 teachers will be part of this study each year. Students will be from high schools in New Mexico and Arizona.
The belief of the project, IMPACTT, Integrating Multilevel Perspectives Across the Curriculum for Today and Tomorrow, is “learning the effects the environment has on human health will help them be ready to deal with the world as an adult” even if they don’t choose human health as a profession. The program utilizes inquiry driven “Major Projects” and integrated modules related to thematic units. The themes are “The Environment”, “World Explorations”, “Systems”, and “Science, Government, and Economics”. COEP will conduct field tests of the curriculum with teachers in Tucson. As part of these field tests they will train the teachers on the curriculum, provide assistance to the teachers implementing the curriculum, ask teachers to participate in focus groups or interviews to discuss the effectiveness of the lessons, and require written feedback from the teachers. Teachers will not be personally identified in any publications or other dissemination tools. Rather the information will be documented in aggregate. Teacher participation is strictly voluntary and you can withdraw from the project at any time.

Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 244
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA  85721-0207

Funded by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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