Science Educators Address Adolescent Health Issues

Under a grant from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, CRDG worked with faculty at Purdue University to develop materials to teach sixth grade girls about osteoporosis and the need for calcium in their diets to combat this disease later in life. Francis Pottenger, Don Buchholz, Sandra Shimabukuro, and the Learning Technology Section of CRDG produced a CD/DVD set in which three children, in order to help care for a loved one, learn from a doctor about the need for calcium to help maintain strong bones. Pre-and post-tests on selected groups that used the one-week program showed that it did have an impact on the target audience’s intake of calcium. In addition, the program was awarded the Gold Award in Information Technology-Class 39-Best Innovative Use of Communication Technology from the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences. Work has begun on a second USDA funded program with Purdue called “Healthy Weight,” targeted for sixth grade girls and boys.