A Computer-based, Student-Centered Middle-School Approach to One Health Learning
Project SummaryThe proposed project will provide rural middle school teachers with instructional strategies andresources for teaching science in the context of One Health (the integration of human, animal,and environmental health) and assess the effectiveness of this method. The app- and web-based curriculum will use a student-centered approach to teaching middle school sciencetopics. Middle school science curricular materials produced over the past 15 years by thePartnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health (PEER) in the College of VeterinaryMedicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University will be enhanced to includemotivational, student-centered content for use with mobile devices. The activities will targetunderserved rural communities, concentrating specifically on middle school students, who are ata critical period for developing academic competence and choosing a career. This project willfocus on rural schools because they have large minority and educationally underservedpopulations. Their geographic isolation allows students few opportunities to interact withscientists and academic health professionals who might increase their motivation to engage inscience, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and related careers.Project specific aims include the following: 1. Development of a student-centered appcontaining engaging brief stories, case studies, and video presentations followed by interactiveassessments (games, quizzes, etc.) and project/curriculum guides that science teachers canuse to lead students in group activities, experiments, projects, and discussions. 2. Re-organization of the peer.tamu.edu website to accommodate the new app and online coursesand to make specific resources easier for teachers to find. 3. Provision of teacher professionaldevelopment via summer workshops where teachers are instructed in and contribute to thedesign and implementation of relevant student-centered lessons to be delivered by an app.This innovative approach and content not only make ''learning on the go'' possible, but they alsoprovide a wide range of content that is not readily available for students and teachers throughtraditional classroom instruction. The proposed project will further prepare middle schoolteachers to teach STEM; increase the number of youth who have interactive STEM experiencesin school; and increase the number of underrepresented minority students who areknowledgeable about STEM and STEM careers.