HiOH builds upon two earlier SEPA-funded projects. The result of these SEPA projects is a coherent set of engaging research-based curricula for middle and high school linked with community activities. These curricula have been tested in two high-needs districts and refined over time.
Education for Community Genomic Awareness. 2006-2012
This project, lead by the Center for Public Health and Community Genomics at the University of Michigan (PIs Citrin and Krajcik), developed a new high school life science curriculum addressed molecular genetics (single gene focus) and genomics (focus on human genome and its interaction with environment) was developed and enacted in five high schools in Detroit and three high schools in Flint. Paralleling the curriculum activities in the schools were a series of activities engaging parents and other community members in the catchment areas served by the schools. Results: this project focused on high school students and demonstrated the potential of project-based learning curriculum connected with the community. But results also revealed students’ need for an earlier learning experience to support stronger learning in high school.
A New Genomic Framework for Schools and Communities. 2014-2020
This project, lead by CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University in collaboration with the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan (PI Krajcik, Co-PI Citrin) focused on middle school students and provided a framework linking genetics, environment and natural selection and developed further community connected learning experiences applying classroom instruction to real-world health-related activities through community action research projects and culminating health summits. Results: evidence of success in student learning - both cognitive and social emotional learning gains. But results revealed three challenges to the realization of full potential: shift to student-centered instruction; limited student exposure and lack of continuity; and sustainability of this approach to this powerful approach to learning.