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Positively Aging: Maximizing the Healthspan

Grant Website

http://teachhealthk-12.uthscsa.edu/

Project Description

Maintaining a healthy life starts in childhood, and students must learn the scientific evidence for choices that increase their chances of sustaining physical and mental independence. This project will improve science, math and health education in grades 6-8 by teaching students new health information to extend and improve their lives. The project also will improve students' attitudes toward science, which may promote interest in science, research and medical careers.

The project team developed a teacher professional development program focused on maximizing the healthspan. The project aims to:

  1. Develop educational materials based on NIH-funded research on the biology of aging, homeostasis, allostasis, and optimizing the quantity and quality of healthy life
  2. Create and evaluate an intensive, multi-dimensional model that assesses middle school teacher professional development
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher professional development program in changing students' attitudes toward science
  4. Disseminate the curriculum through a website, teacher workshops, presentations at meetings, publications in journals and community engagement through the CTSA consortium.

The program will improve teachers' knowledge, skills and confidence levels, ultimately affecting their students. Its interdisciplinary partnership matches Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with middle school educators from San Antonio school districts that serve predominantly economically-disadvantaged Mexican- American populations. This partnership will produce freely available instructional materials that improve math and science education quality in public schools and promote understanding of behaviors that reduce disease risk.

Abstract

Everyone desires to live a healthy life, free of disease and disability, for as long as possible. The period of optimal functioning is termed the "healthspan," and is a subset of each human's lifespan. Attaining and maintaining a healthy life starts in childhood and students must learn the scientific evidence for habits and choices that increase their chances of sustaining physical and mental independence throughout their lives.

This Phase I and II SEPA application will create, evaluate, and disseminate novel teaching materials centered on the biology of aging and the scientific processes of homeostasis and allostasis to teach students about Maximizing the Healthspan.

Through controlled studies, rigorous psychometric re-evaluations of science attitude instruments, and teacher observations, our team developed new evidence and is poised to test an intensive innovative Teacher Professional Development program with Maximizing the Healthspan as the gerontology focus. The core content of this proposal utilizes information from NIH-funded gerontologic basic, translational, and patient-oriented clinical research to create novel inquiry-based health promotion lessons that effectively teach science, math, and health principles at the middle school level. The proposal will utilize these materials in a controlled trial of teacher professional development and evaluate the impact the teachers have on student attitudes toward science.

Our continually innovating interdisciplinary partnership matches Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) with middle school educators from multiple school districts in San Antonio, Texas. These districts serve predominantly economically disadvantaged Mexican-American populations. This partnership will produce freely available classroom-ready instructional materials that meet SEPA goals to (a) improve math and science education quality in public schools, and (b) promote understandings of behavior that reduce disease risk.

To accomplish this, we set four specific aims:

  • Aim A: Develop new educational materials based on NIH-funded research on the biology of aging, homeostasis, allostasis, and optimizing the quantity and quality of healthy life
  • Aim B: With Maximizing the Healthspan as content, utilize our educational partnerships to create and evaluate an intensive, novel, multi-dimensional model that qualitatively and quantitatively assesses middle school teacher professional development
  • Aim C: Conduct a controlled evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the Positively Aging ® teacher professional development program on changing students' attitudes toward science as measured by two newly re-evaluated and shortened attitude scales: the Women in Science Scale-Revised (WiSS-R) and the Simpson-Troost Attitude Questionnaire-Revised (STAQ-R)
  • Aim D: Disseminate the curriculum through the Positively Aging ® website, teacher workshops, presentations at educational and scientific meetings, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and community engagement through the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): This Positively Aging ® proposal will improve science, math, and health education in grades 6-8 by teaching students new health information, based on current NIH supported research, to extend and improve their lives. A novel science teacher professional development program, created by the Positively Aging ® team, will strive to improve teachers' knowledge, skills, and confidence levels, ultimately affecting their students. In addition, this proposal seeks to improve students' attitudes toward science which may promote career interest in science, research, and medicine.

Positively Aging: Maximizing the Healthspan /grants/positively-aging-maximizing-healthspan 1699 R25RR025122 1 TX 2009 09/15/2009 07/01/2014 University Of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio TX 78229 Medicine PI LICHTENSTEIN MICHAEL MD (210) 567-2568 (210) 567-4414 lichtenstei@uthscsa.edu OTHER CONTACT PRUSKI LINDA MA (210) 567-2747 (210) 567-4414 pruski@uthscsa.edu http://teachhealthk-12.uthscsa.edu/ http://teachhealthk-12.uthscsa.edu/

Maintaining a healthy life starts in childhood, and students must learn the scientific evidence for choices that increase their chances of sustaining physical and mental independence. This project will improve science, math and health education in grades 6-8 by teaching students new health information to extend and improve their lives. The project also will improve students' attitudes toward science, which may promote interest in science, research and medical careers.

The project team developed a teacher professional development program focused on maximizing the healthspan. The project aims to:

  1. Develop educational materials based on NIH-funded research on the biology of aging, homeostasis, allostasis, and optimizing the quantity and quality of healthy life
  2. Create and evaluate an intensive, multi-dimensional model that assesses middle school teacher professional development
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher professional development program in changing students' attitudes toward science
  4. Disseminate the curriculum through a website, teacher workshops, presentations at meetings, publications in journals and community engagement through the CTSA consortium.

The program will improve teachers' knowledge, skills and confidence levels, ultimately affecting their students. Its interdisciplinary partnership matches Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with middle school educators from San Antonio school districts that serve predominantly economically-disadvantaged Mexican- American populations. This partnership will produce freely available instructional materials that improve math and science education quality in public schools and promote understanding of behaviors that reduce disease risk.

Everyone desires to live a healthy life, free of disease and disability, for as long as possible. The period of optimal functioning is termed the "healthspan," and is a subset of each human's lifespan. Attaining and maintaining a healthy life starts in childhood and students must learn the scientific evidence for habits and choices that increase their chances of sustaining physical and mental independence throughout their lives.

This Phase I and II SEPA application will create, evaluate, and disseminate novel teaching materials centered on the biology of aging and the scientific processes of homeostasis and allostasis to teach students about Maximizing the Healthspan.

Through controlled studies, rigorous psychometric re-evaluations of science attitude instruments, and teacher observations, our team developed new evidence and is poised to test an intensive innovative Teacher Professional Development program with Maximizing the Healthspan as the gerontology focus. The core content of this proposal utilizes information from NIH-funded gerontologic basic, translational, and patient-oriented clinical research to create novel inquiry-based health promotion lessons that effectively teach science, math, and health principles at the middle school level. The proposal will utilize these materials in a controlled trial of teacher professional development and evaluate the impact the teachers have on student attitudes toward science.

Our continually innovating interdisciplinary partnership matches Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) with middle school educators from multiple school districts in San Antonio, Texas. These districts serve predominantly economically disadvantaged Mexican-American populations. This partnership will produce freely available classroom-ready instructional materials that meet SEPA goals to (a) improve math and science education quality in public schools, and (b) promote understandings of behavior that reduce disease risk.

To accomplish this, we set four specific aims:

  • Aim A: Develop new educational materials based on NIH-funded research on the biology of aging, homeostasis, allostasis, and optimizing the quantity and quality of healthy life
  • Aim B: With Maximizing the Healthspan as content, utilize our educational partnerships to create and evaluate an intensive, novel, multi-dimensional model that qualitatively and quantitatively assesses middle school teacher professional development
  • Aim C: Conduct a controlled evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the Positively Aging ® teacher professional development program on changing students' attitudes toward science as measured by two newly re-evaluated and shortened attitude scales: the Women in Science Scale-Revised (WiSS-R) and the Simpson-Troost Attitude Questionnaire-Revised (STAQ-R)
  • Aim D: Disseminate the curriculum through the Positively Aging ® website, teacher workshops, presentations at educational and scientific meetings, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and community engagement through the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): This Positively Aging ® proposal will improve science, math, and health education in grades 6-8 by teaching students new health information, based on current NIH supported research, to extend and improve their lives. A novel science teacher professional development program, created by the Positively Aging ® team, will strive to improve teachers' knowledge, skills, and confidence levels, ultimately affecting their students. In addition, this proposal seeks to improve students' attitudes toward science which may promote career interest in science, research, and medicine.

Aging Process; attitudes; Autoregulation; Behavior; Biological; Biology of Aging; career; C 1 Esterase; Childhood; Clinical; Clinical Research; Translational Science; Communities; Controlled Study; Curriculum; education; Development; Disease; Disorder; Economically Deprived; Evaluation; Funding; Genetic; Gerontology; grades 6-8; health; Homeostasis; Human; Investigation; Journals; knowledge; Longevity; math; Measures; medicine; novel; NIH; NCRR; Peer Review; Programs [Publication Type]; Positively Aging(R); Psychometric; Questionnaires; research; science; teaching; teacher professional development; students; web site