Engaging girls in STEM careers using a culturally-relevant One Health approach Engaging girls in STEM careers using a culturally-relevant One Health approach Nature-based experiences are becoming increasingly rare among younger generations, and as a result, there is a growing disconnect between environmental quality, biodiversity conservation and public health. A healthy environment, comprised of clean water, clean air, clean soils, a diversity of species and thriving ecosystems, is not only a human right under the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act, but also the foundation for improving long-term public health outcomes. As such, the One Health concept is multisectoral and transdisciplinary approach to achieve optimal public health outcomes by recognizing and supporting the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and a healthy environment. In the One Health approach, a better understanding of the relationship between environmental problems and the resulting long-term public health impacts also requires consideration of the socio-economic contexts that contribute to and are affected by poor environmental quality, biodiversity loss, and poor public health outcomes. As such, making these connections requires place-based and culturally-responsive information that resonates with communities. Although women represent the largest percentage of enrolled students in four-year institutions, they continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, and girls from underserved communities are notably absent in the fields of environmental science, ecology and conservation science. It is also well-known that public health impacts from poor environmental quality are often highest in marginalized and underserved communities. Girls from underserved and high-need communities are also more likely to lack access to critical resources such as science texts, teacher resources, and out-of-school opportunities. This lack of access to quality STEM learning in K-12 schools hinders girls ability to develop interests and practical skills in environmental science, ecology and public health. Regardless, developing innovative technologies, solutions and approaches to improve environmental quality, biodiversity conservation and public health, will only be effective when there is adequate expertise and representation from those underserved communities that are most impacted by poor environmental quality and health outcomes. If we only frame our problems from a single lens, we miss valuable perspectives and expertise that can help us articulate questions and produce solutions that are durable, salient and credible. A lack of diverse perspectives translates into a lack of innovative responses to persistent, emerging conservation problems. Therefore, this proposal seeks to increase engagement of girls from underserved communities in pursuing environmental and public health science education and careers through the development of place-based and culturally responsive One Health curricula. We propose to develop a novel education and training program, that provides environmental literacy and knowledge about environmental quality, environmental justice, and ecological sustainability, focusing on underrepresented girls in 9-12th grade. Specifically, our proposed GirlsConserve program will integrate a number of different units and initiatives across ASU to develop a culturally responsive One Health curricular framework, that will not only improve engagement and retention of girls in environmental, conservation and public health fields throughout the educational-professional pipeline, but will also provide the framework for implementation of culturally responsive curricula in other underserved communities across the nation.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/22 → 6/30/23|
- Women and Philanthropy: $48,511.00
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