On Thursday May 11th, team members from the Health in Our Hands (HiOH) project, funded by the National Institutes of Health SEPA grants, presented an overview of how the project aligns with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Top 10 in 10 Innovation Roadshow. HioH representatives included research associate Idit Adler from CREATE, Nadina Aversa from Flint Community Schools, and Ella Greene-Moton, HIOH community activities manager from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The Health in Our Hands project was invited to present at the Roadshow as a local educational exemplar that emphasizes three key MDE focus areas: well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and effective use of technology. The CREATE co-presenters represented three distinct points of view: district administration, curriculum development, and community engagement. Aversa, a Flint Community Schools curriculum specialist, presented the challenges facing the Flint educational system from the district’s point of view and the goals for the enactment of the curriculum. Ella Greene-Moton described how the curriculum supports relationships between the school and the Flint community. Idit Adler, HIOH research associate at CREATE for STEM, detailed how the three focus areas set forth by MDE are expressed throughout the curriculum. Project outcomes, early wins, and opportunities for and barriers to enacting NGSS aligned curriculum in urban economically challenged communities were discussed from all three points of view.
The presentation also emphasized that, notwithstanding the numerous challenges associated with such a journey, HIOH demonstrates that an academic–school administrative-community partnership is crucial in addressing issues of equity, achievement gaps, and opportunities in order to achieve the goal of Science for All.
HIOH is a five-year grant supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, under Award Number R25OD16534-1. The project goal is to develop learning materials that emphasize knowledge-in-use, and blend school and community learning experiences to teach genomics and evolution. Additional collaborators include the Concord Consortium, Community-Based Organization Partners, Flint Public Library, Sloan Museum, University Preparatory Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Detroit Public Library, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Michigan Science Center, and Friends of Parkside, a Detroit-based community-support organization.
The Top 10 in 10 Innovation Roadshow is a series of seven events hosted by the MDE across the state to demonstrate ways that districts and schools can maximize both their state and federal findings to be inclusive of a well-rounded education that supports Personalized and Deeper Learning.