203887 Effectiveness of educational materials designed to increase genetic literacy among Hispanic/Latino elementary and secondary students and their families

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:45 AM

Louisa A. Stark, PhD , Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Stacy Eddings, PhD , Bach Harrison, LLC, Salt Lake City, UT
Rebecca Giles, MPH, CHES , Chronic Disease Genomics Program, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, UT
Jenny Johnson, CHES , Chronic Disease Genomics Program, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, UT
Curriculum materials for K-12 students that include take-home activities provide a novel approach to increasing genetic literacy among both students and their families, particularly in underserved communities. Using a community-based participatory approach, the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center and Utah Department of Health Chronic Disease Genomics Program worked with teachers and a Hispanic/Latino Community Advisory Committee to develop culturally- and linguistically-appropriate genetics materials for Utah's diverse Hispanic/Latino communities. The upper elementary materials focus on inherited traits while the secondary-level materials focus on family health history (FHH). The project is one of four projects comprising the Community Genetics Education Network, funded by a collaborative agreement between the March of Dimes and Health Resources and Services Administration. The elementary materials were tested with six teachers and 159 predominantly Hispanic/Latino fifth grade students. Students' knowledge about inherited traits increased significantly from pretest to posttest. Most students (77.5%) reported sharing the family materials at home. Having the materials in Spanish and English led to parents and children, as well as parents and teachers, having conversations about genetics that had not previously occurred. The secondary-level materials were tested with six teachers and 498 predominantly Hispanic/Latino students. Students' knowledge related to FHH increased significantly from pretest to posttest. Half of the classes viewed an introductory movie featuring Hispanic/Latino students. Significantly more of these students (62.7%) completed a FHH. The project outcomes support the value of including take-home materials with school-based curriculum units to provide family education, impact lifestyle choices and improve health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe methods for evaluating the effectiveness of elementary- and secondary-level genetics education materials. 2. Identify the outcomes with respect to student knowledge and family engagement of implementing two bi-lingual genetics curriculum units. 3. Describe the public health benefits of including family take-home materials with elementary- and secondary-level curriculum units.

Keywords: Evaluation, Genetics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Director of the Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Utah, Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.