Recruiting the Next Generation of Environmental Toxicologists

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application addresses broad Challenge Area (12) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (STEM) and specific Challenge Topic 12-ES-101: Material Development for Environmental Health Curriculum. K-12 students share the public's concern over environmental pollution and its effects on human health, but are often unable to connect this concern with federally funded research. We will deliver hands-on, interactive environmental toxicology curriculum materials for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms and after-school programs, via an established social media platform. Lessons will be organized as modules that can be independently incorporated into existing science curricula, with an emphasis on learner generated content selected and edited to enhance the lessons. We will provide low-cost hand-held video cameras so that students and teachers will record and upload the results of their reflective, experiential learning activities to the open social media platform. Pedagogical focus will be on relevance to research, including the possible environmental components of human diseases. The Principal Investigators and a teaching postdoctoral fellow will collaborate with our education faculty, our research toxicology faculty, our university's educational technology group, an advisory committee of K-12 educators, and our existing classroom and after-school delivery networks at the state and national levels (including the 4-H Youth Development Program, Cooperative Extension, and local school districts). Participation will be bundled with professional development activities for teachers and student teachers. Finally, we will recruit talented students into research careers. We will select outstanding students from participating high schools for residential summer research internships in toxicology laboratories, and offer them inducement scholarships to encourage the study of toxicology and prepare them for graduate programs and careers in research. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project aims to deliver an environmental toxicology curriculum that makes scientific research accessible and relevant to students in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms and after- school programs. The projects long term impact will be maximized by making this curriculum freely available on the internet, and by a parallel delivery of professional development opportunities for K-12 educators. In addition, select high school students participating in the curriculum will pursue summer research projects during 7 week internships in toxicology laboratories, and be eligible for scholarships to encourage pursuit of undergraduate toxicology degrees.
Effective start/end date9/21/096/30/10


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $499,756.00
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $496,127.00


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