Health in Our Hands

HIOH new logo with photos

Designed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards, Health in Our Hands (HiOH) connects the science classroom to the community to give middle school youth and adults an understanding of modern concepts in genetics.

This project, led by CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University in collaboration with the Health in Our Hands-Flint/Genesee Partnership (PI Bayer, Co-PI Krajcik), is developing, assessing, and disseminating a novel design for science education that focuses on genomic and environmental health curriculum materials and instructional strategies, and inspires student engagement in STEM learning and a focus on careers for underrepresented middle and high school students. The project will use three strategies to achieve its goals, high quality curriculum materials, innovative professional development, and a community health/science education partnership to support and sustain HiOH in schools and community.

Using project-based learning, students investigate diabetes and addiction and use these real-world contexts to appreciate the importance of both genetic and environmental factors in their risk for disease. For their final project, 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 at a Youth Health Summit to their peers, family and community.

Each unit of HIOH focuses on a critical community health concern and  brings students’ cultural background and family experience into the science class as a resource and asset for learning. Biomedical research and health-related careers are introduced throughout the curricula.

Unit 1. What Controls My Health? Meet Monique by video, a girl diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes, like many common diseases, is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Students investigate how lifestyle options for healthy foods and exercise help prevent or reduce diabetes.

Unit 2. How Can Looking for Thrills Make Me Miserable? Explore the biology of substance use disorder. The unit starts with a video with teens’ testimonials about addiction to vaping (e-cigarettes). Students investigate the brain’s reward system from an evolutionary perspective and examine its role in addictive behavior. 

Health in Our Hands is a project lead by the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University in collaboration with the Health in Our Hands-Flint/Genesee Partnership: Community Based Organization Partners of Flint, CRIM Foundation, Flint Community Schools, Atherton Community Schools, Genesee County Health Department, Genesee Intermediate School District, Genesys Health System, Greater Flint Health Coalition, Health Alliance Plan, Michigan State University (Human Medicine & Extension) and the University of Michigan-Flint (Discovering PLACE). 

HiOH in MSU news [link here]

Read about the Health Summit held in February, 2021 here:

HIOH, SEPA, and MSU logos

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