Welcome to Junior Research Academy for the Environment where our student participants become Environmental Health Investigators! Where we live and what surrounds us constitutes our environment. In these spaces, there are things that affect our health. Examples include, smog from cars that causes air pollution can affect your breathing, and a loud noise may affect your sleeping pattern. Participants in the Junior Research Academy for the Environment will use their problem-solving and critical thinking skills to examine air, noise, and soil and discuss their effects on the health of our communities.
Science activities will focus on the environment. Each person may define their environment in their own words, therefore the science team working with the Environmental Health Investigators team has developed a definition to help you get started: “Your environment is where you live and what you surround yourself with; everything has an impact on your health.” What does your environment mean to you? How does your environment make you feel? What might be some of the positive and negative health effects of living in your environment?
In the coming weeks, student participants will have the opportunity to answer these questions all while formulating their own definition/story of what their environment means to them through the PhotoVoice process. This process allows students to capture photos of issues or assets in their environment and discuss the images they capture using photography in their own voices. With the guidance of their teacher and SIUE graduate student scientists, Environmental Health Investigators will share their story with the community.
We are excited to meet you all as we begin our first Saturday session on November 13th! This program is made possible through funds provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA).