NIEHS Environmental Health Science Education

Article excerpt

Although the NIEHS is known primarily as a research institution, the institute is also charged with making its findings openly accessible to the public. As one of its efforts in this area, the NIEHS has developed its Environmental Health Science Education website to provide teaching materials for students and educators on topics including asthma, carcinogens, herbal medicines, nanotechnology, obesity, and risk assessment. To aid in the ease of finding materials, the site's homepage, located at, has three portals, one for each of the three audiences--students, teachers, and scientists--that may be accessing the site.

The Students portion contains a library of homework resources, sorted by type of publication: factsheet, pamphlet, news article, or video. The page shows the ages for which each resource is intended. Within the Online Activities subsection are links to games, puzzles, tips for healthy living, environment-related coloring books, and storybooks. Most of these activities are intended for elementary or middle school students, although there is one tool, Project Greenskate, that has been developed for high school students. The Students portion also contains information on summer employment and training opportunities for high school and college students.

In the Teachers portion of the site, educators can find curricular materials, sorted by keywords, that include a real-time air quality activity, guides to performing scientific techniques such as the Ames assay, classroom role-playing scenarios such as the Hydroville Challenge project, and staff development units. …