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August 2009

By: Dave | August 28 2009 | Category: NIH Resources

NIH curriculum supplements logoThe past few months have been a busy time for the folks developing new NIH curriculum supplements. Let's review...

Exploring Bioethics is nearly done!
Awhile back I said that we'd start taking orders for this new high school curriculum supplement in early August. I was wrong. As I type now, copies of Exploring Bioethics are being printed in nearby Northern Virginia. We could see hot-off-the-press copies as early as next week. As soon as the supplements arrive in our Maryland warehouse, we'll fire up the ordering machine.

Design Conferences for Rare Diseases and Evolution and Medicine met over the summer
In late July and early August two separate groups of scientists, teachers, and curriculum developers met at BSCS headquartersExternal Web Site Policy in Colorado Springs to design the student activities for these forthcoming supplements. Both groups spent four days transforming the core science concepts of each supplement into engaging student activities. The lessons will be field tested in dozens of schools nationwide in early 2010. We're delighted that there has been unprecedented interest from teachers in field testing!
By: Cynthia | August 25 2009 | Category: NIH Resources, Scientists in the Community

Happy StudentsFor students interested in a health or medical science career, early planning is critical. Taking the appropriate courses in high school, in addition to academic achievement, can make or break college entrance into the program of choice.

To help students get a head start, the NIH Office of Science Education (OSE) developed SciLife, which offers high school students and their parents a series of practical workshops on college planning and career exploration in the health and medical sciences. The OSE program is modeled after the highly successful Biomedical Science Careers Program, founded in 1991 by Joan Reede, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership, Harvard Medical School.

OSE uses customer survey data to further enhance the SciLife event each year. The surveys reveal that the top three interests of students and their parents are: college planning, choosing a career, and financing an education. In addition, they wish for more in depth information on specific careers, and guidance on topics such as balancing life, handling stress, test taking strategies, and internet safety. OSE partners with area Federal and industry leaders in these specialties to provide this information and enrich the program.

Now in its fourth year, SciLife offers an extra Spring workshop in addition to the annual Fall program. In answer to student requests, the Spring workshop will provide in depth guidance on choosing a career. Online registration for the Fall and Spring programs opened August 24 for students and their parents in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
By: Bonnie | August 14 2009 | Category: NIH Resources, Tidbits for Teachers


New and innovative kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum units – Diabetes-based Education for Tribal Schools (DETS):  Health is Life in Balance – are now available for schools across the country! The curricula results from a unique collaboration of eight tribal colleges and universities with funding by the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The curricula integrates science and Native American traditions to educate students about science, diabetes and its risk factors, and the importance of nutrition and physical activity for maintaining a healthy balanced life. Their inquiry-based approach builds research skills in observation, measurement, prediction, experimentation, and communication. They incorporate healthy lifestyle messages and engaging science activities for all students. Each unit is aligned with national science, health, and social studies education standards making it easier to incorporate into an established curriculum. 

The units were designed and extensively tested by staff from the eight tribal colleges and universities, who worked with 63 teachers and 1,500 students in schools across 14 states from Alaska to Florida. Both American Indian and Alaska Native and non-American Indian and Alaska Native teachers and students participated.

Curriculum evaluations revealed:

  • Pre-to-post student achievement gains at all three grade-level bands (elementary, middle, and high school)
  • Teachers found that the curriculum was easy to use, more engaging than similar curricula, and had strong Native American content
  • Students thought the curriculum was "just right": not too hard but not too easy

Read more about recent professional development activities related to these units in this Salt Lake Tribune articleExternal Web Site Policy.
By: Debbie | August 7 2009 | Category: Science and the Arts

Art therapist and patientDid you know that art can be used to treat a multitude of illness? Art therapist, Megan Robb, has found a way to combine her passion for art and her desire to help patients. She provides therapy for patients undergoing medical and psychiatric research protocols at NIH including treatment for alcoholism, schizophrenia, mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, and medical conditions including chronic illnesses or rare diseases. Patients range from children to the elderly, and are both inpatients and outpatients.

Megan works with doctors, nurses, and other therapists to provide therapeutic art opportunities appropriate to each patient. She says that, "Art therapy is the process, not the final product." Common practices Megan uses include: drawing, sculpture, art using various materials and multiple mediums, sewing and working with fabric, and making masks. You can find lots of information about other health and medical sciences careers at the Office of Science Education’s LifeWorks Web site.
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