Duffrin developed the FoodMASTER program at Ohio University in 2005 with elementary school teacher Sharon Phillips.In Phase I of the project, Duffrin, Phillips and Jana Hovland, FoodMASTER associate director for Ohio, created a 45-lesson FoodMASTER curriculum for third- through fifth-grade students. The lesson plans use food preparation and handling to improve students’ math and science skills. An interactive, computer version of the program was also developed.In Phase II, Duffrin and ECU colleagues David Rivera of Hospitality Management and Michael Bosse of Mathematics and Science Education, will use the new grant to research the effects of the FoodMASTER multimedia materials and investigate how best to share the curriculum with teachers. “Children love anything to do with food and food preparation,” Duffrin said. “We’ve been watching enthusiastic, young students engage in scientific processes such as measurement, data collection, critical thinking and comparative analysis in very natural self directed ways, and it’s exciting.” The NIH Science Education Partnership Awards support learning that stimulates interest in science, advances public understanding of health issues, and encourages the next generation of health and science professionals. With an emphasis on reducing health disparities, the program's K-12 projects target minorities and students in rural and underserved communities.
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