Dr. Gary Seastrand, Education, and Dr. Jon Wisco, Physiology and Developmental Biology
Specific Aim 1: Measure the impact of Anatomy Academy on 5th and 6th grade students’ knowledge of anatomy, health, and exercise, interest in pursuing postsecondary education in a science-related field, and ability to make the lifestyle choices necessary to reduce their risk for developing chronic diseases related to sedentary lifestyles and poor diet. Specific Aim 2: Measure the impact of Anatomy Academy on the academic and professional development of McKay students pursuing careers in teaching science and health at the elementary level.
In order to meet the specific aims, mentors were provided training with Dr. Jon Wisco from Life Sciences, Dr. Jane Lassiter and Dr. Gay Ray from Nursing, and Dr. Gary Seastrand from the McKay School of Education. Training was based upon enabling mentors to improve their ability to:
- Instruct elementary age students exploring health-related concepts
- Adapt health-related communication to the developmental stage of the audience
- Communicate basic physiological concepts to individuals and groups
- Engage with Students in age appropriate activities to reinforce health related concepts
- Teach the link between physiological concepts and healthy behaviors, such as physical activity, good nutrition, and maintenance of a healthy BMI
- Collaborate with community organizations (schools) to work toward a common goal
- Empower children toward healthy decisions
- Teach students using experiential methods
The results were outstanding. Each of the 8 areas were readily accomplished.
Evaluation of the Mentoring Environment
Mentors were trained at BYU on Saturdays and then assigned to specific elementary schools and classrooms. The mentoring environment was associated with the elementary schools. Many of the schools were designated as Title 1, which is associated with high percentages of students on free and reduced lunch. This exposure to students from poverty enhanced the environment and captured mentors hearts.
List of students who participated and what academic deliverables they have produced.
There were a total of 595 mentors who were involved with this program. A list can be provided if necessary. However, due to the overwhelming response and involvement it seems to large to create a list. While this is a large number of participants, it should be noted that there was limited involvement with the McKay students. Most of the mentors came from Life Sciences and Nursing. The challenge we found with McKay students was getting information due to the large number of students who were off campus doing working in their clinical setting. We are investigating possibilities to engage more McKay students prior to the clinical experiences.
Description of results/findings of the project
Anatomy Academy is a simultaneous service-learning experience for preprofessional school undergraduate students and pre-clinical professional students (Mentors), and engaged-learning experience for fourth to sixth grade elementary school children (Students). Using didactic and kinesthetic active learning teaching strategies in small-group classroom environments, Mentors taught anatomy, physiology, and nutrition concepts to Students. Overall objectives of improving Mentors’ pedagogical confidence; and Students’ science interest, science knowledge, and exercise self-efficacy were assessed. Mentors showed (89 percent response of 595 surveyed) improvement in content delivery (p = 0.0000), student engagement (p = 0.0000), classroom management (p = 0.0000), and professionalism (p = 0.0001). Post-program Mentor reflections were categorized into seven major themes that demonstrated personal growth through the service-learning opportunity: 1) Realization of an ability to make a difference in the world now; 2) Acknowledgement of the importance of listening in teaching; 3) Recognition that lives can and will change with a little love; 4) Insight to the effectiveness of guiding students through material rather than lecturing; 5) Awareness of the value of respect in the learning environment; 6) Cognizance of the power of individualized attention to motivate Students 7) Reflection of one’s own personal growth through the open influence of Students. Students showed (88 percent response of 1,259 surveyed) improvement in science knowledge (p = 0.014) and exercise self-efficacy (p = 0.038), but not science interest (p = 0.371).
|Cost per Item||Number||Total Cost|
|Salaries for Coordinators/Research Assistants to coordinate the Mentors at each of the 10 school sites||$10/hr x 10 hrs/week x 8 weeks||10||$8,000|
|Mentors in elementary classrooms||Volunteered||595||0|
Includes curriculum supplies, physical education equipment and anatomical models
|$900 per site||10||$9,000|
|Travel to conferences for key personnel and students pursuing educational research||$2,500||$2,500|
|Publication costs for figures||$500||$500|