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Creating enduring student understandings in environmental health

Kendra A. Mingo, MA, Nancy I. Kerkvliet, PhD, and Molly Bloomfield, MA. Environmental Health Sciences Center, Oregon State University, 1011 ALS Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, 541-737-8892, kendra.mingo@orst.edu

The Environmental Health Sciences Center at Oregon State University is developing, piloting and evaluating a 9-12th grade environmental health curriculum called the Hydroville Curriculum Project (HCP). HCP is a series of problem-based, interdisciplinary modules aimed at improving student academic performance and increasing awareness of environmental health science. HCP focuses on four scenarios (a pesticide spill, mysterious illness outbreak, indoor air quality problem and a water quality situation) and several areas of environmental health (i.e. toxicology, environmental sampling, risk assessment, decision analysis, and science communication). HCP modules are structured to help students understand complex environmental health issues and emphasize that many real-world issues have no single correct answer. The first HCP module, Pesticide Spill Scenario, was piloted in 2001-02 in 10 Oregon high schools. The overall evaluation for HCP is a quasi-experimental design that uses pre and post test administration of evaluation instruments directed at teachers and students emphasizing changes in perception and attitude. Key measurement concepts include: (a) reasoning about chemical risks and toxicology, (b) value for science in daily life, (c) teamwork attitudes, and (d) information skills. Results from the Pesticide Spill Scenario pilot-test demonstrated a modest though statistically reliable effect of the module on studentsí attitudes, perceptions, and reasoning about chemicals in the environment and environmental toxicology. Students who participated in the Pesticide Spill Scenario also adopted a more scientific perspective on the meaning of chemical exposure and how chemical risks should be managed. The process of curriculum design, implementation, and preliminary findings of HCP will be described.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

Keywords: Environmental Health, School-Based Programs

Related Web page: www.hydroville.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Oregon State University Environmental Health Sciences Center
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: The curriculum was developed by the Environmental Health Sciences Center at Oregon State University. No products will be promoted. I hav a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or serv

Successes of Integrating Environmental Health Across Disciplines in K-12 Education

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA