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Your Environment. Your Health.

STEM Education and Environmental Health

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

July 26, 2017

PEPH Webinar STEM Education & Environmental Health presentation screen

Through the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health program, we have discussed the importance of environmental health literacy, which has strong ties to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. However, teachers today face many demands and have limited time and tools for introducing new concepts, such as environmental health. This webinar highlighted different approaches to working with teachers to engage students on environmental health topics. Two presentations focused on hands-on tools and resources that teachers can use in the classroom, and the third presentation described the value and impact of workshops that strengthen teachers' capacity to address environmental health with their students.

Presentations

Experts

Dina Markowitz, Ph.D.

Dina Markowitz, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and in the Center for Community Health at the University of Rochester, and she is also Director of the university’s Life Sciences Learning Center. She is responsible for developing and coordinating a wide variety of science education and outreach programs for students (elementary through high school), teachers, and the general community. Her center’s programs emphasize hands-on and minds-on learning to boost science literacy and enthusiasm about learning science. These efforts include field trips to the center’s teaching lab, in-school programs, science camps and clubs, community programs, and science teacher workshops.

Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D.

Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, and she also directs the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of U. Rochester’s Environmental Health Sciences Center. As a policy scientist, her research addresses the role of both science and community groups in the policy process, and she is particularly interested in how groups generate, access, and use information. She participates in many Rochester-based partnerships and boards relating to environmental health, including the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, the Rochester Healthy Homes Partnership, the Water Education Collaborative, and the Pollution Prevention Institute.

Robin Fuchs-Young, Ph.D.

Robin Fuchs-Young, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and she also directs the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of Texas A&M’s Center for Translational Environmental Health Research. She works on programs related to: (1) community engagement and environmental justice efforts aimed at preventing environmental diseases, including cancer; (2) enhancing K-12 education through professional and career development for teachers and students; and (3) educational programs for opinion leaders and policy makers.

Jessa Ellenburg

Jessa Ellenburg is the Director of Educational Outreach at 2B Technologies and is a registered Professional Engineer and a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional. Before joining 2B Technologies, she earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder and spent several years as a bridge engineer. She has spent the last nine years at 2B Technologies and the Global Ozone Project, developing and refining projects to get students involved in air pollution monitoring and data sharing.

For More Information

Science Take-Out develops, manufactures, and sells hands-on science activity kits for use by individuals or small groups of students. The activities do not require any special laboratory equipment and can be used in any educational setting. Also check out the following PEPH Newsletter article: Hands-on Education Builds Understanding of Environment and Health.

The Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute for K-12 Educators offers professional development workshops focused on the connections between the environment and health. Participants learn how to help students use inquiry-based learning to develop an enhanced understanding of science concepts, apply the scientific method, and better understand how the environment affects our health.

AQTreks provides students Personal Air Monitors (PAM) to measure air pollutants along mobile “Treks” of their design. The PAM wirelessly connects to mobile phones, and Treks are displayed in real time on the AQTreks smartphone application. Each Trek is automatically uploaded via WiFi or 3G to the AQTreks website for online analysis, discussion, and comparison with other schools.

We want your feedback!

Send comments, questions, and suggestions for future webinar topics to peph@niehs.nih.gov.