July 7th, 2017

Developing a nationwide K–12 outreach model: Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week 10 years later

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Abstract

Since 2005, nearly 600 Physiology Understanding Week (PhUn Week) events have taken place across the U.S., involving American Physiological Society (APS) members in K–12 outreach. The program seeks to build student understanding of physiology and physiology careers, assist teachers in recognizing physiology in their standards-based curriculum, and involve more physiologists in K–12 outreach. Formative goals included program growth (sites, participants, and leaders), diversification of program models, and development of a community of practice of physiologists and trainees involved in outreach. Eleven years of member-provided data indicate that the formative goals are being met. Nearly 100,000 K–12 students have been reached during the last decade as an increasing pool of physiologists took part in a growing number of events, including a number of international events. The number and types of PhUn Week events have steadily increased as a community of practice has formed to support the program. Future program goals include targeting regional areas for PhUn Week participation, establishing research collaboratives to further explore program impacts, and providing on-demand training for physiologists.
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Tags: Education Opportunities, Research

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