A key feature of this project is the extensive partnership it embodies. In addition to the collaboration between two universities, two school systems and Concord Consortium, critical to the development and enactment of the learning experiences are partnerships with other institutions -- science and history museums, libraries, scientists, and community-based organizations in Detroit and Flint. This approach enhances student learning, interest, and awareness and engages their families in developing an understanding of the linked concepts of genetics, environment and natural selection and their role in health and disease. Research shows an additional benefit - parent engagement also strengthens student achievement.
Each unit incorporates a unique final project where students conduct an action research project to improve their school or neighborhood to help prevent or reduce diabetes and addiction. Students present the results and recommendations back in a Youth Health Summit to their peers, family and community.
Through HIOH, partners from organizations and programs outside of the school can interact with students, classrooms and schools. Through these connections, we support student research and learning, introduce STEM-related people and careers, and provide information about programs and resources that can extend their STEM experiences outside of the classroom. Community partners act as an expert for community projects available for students to interview in their class or by video or phone; consult on content or data analysis questions, for example, nutrition information or suggestions on how to analyze or display data; and attend the Youth Health Summits to a) act as a judge for student projects and/or b) conduct a mini-workshop to introduce students to STEM-related career, programs, and resources in their community.
Health in Our Hands collaborators include the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Detroit Public School and Flint Community Schools in Michigan, and the Concord Consortium in Massachusetts. Community partners include the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Public Library, and Friends of Parkside in Detroit and the Sloan Museum, Flint Public Library, and Community Based Organization Partners in Flint.
This combination of resources will maximize the engagement, interest and learning of students, parents and other adults.
- Ella Greene-Moton, Community Activities Manager from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.