Approximately one year ago, Susan Hershberger, the Director of Miami University’s Center for Chemistry Education and Melinda Butsch Kovacic, epidemiologist and community health researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, joined forces to request funding from the National Institutes of Health for a new community health education project called We Engage 4 Health.
The National Institutes of Health funds a wide array of biomedical research and also has a special division for science education projects called the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program. According to the SEPA website, SEPA “funds innovative pre-kindergarten to grade 12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Informal Science Education educational projects. SEPA projects create partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers and teachers and schools, museums and science centers, media experts, and other educational organizations.”
SEPA receives many proposals from around the United States but only funds a few — luckily, the We Engage 4 Health project is one of those few! The funding is for a 5-year project which will begin with about a year of program development and testing with project partner Seven Hills Neighborhood House. Over the coming years, the programming will expand and extend to partners in Price Hill and Over the Rhine.