Environment Associations (ATHENA) Teacher Workshop on August 2-3, 2016. The teachers came from Selah, Sunnyside, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Kenniwick, Blaine, Olympia, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Shoreline, Tukwila, Bellevue and Seattle.
The teachers weren’t all clear in the beginning, but by the end of the workshop everyone knew that environmental health is the effect of anything from outside our bodies on human health - air, water, food, pesticides, UV light, drugs, chemicals, vitamins, stress, and on and on. They also learned that environment + genetics + choices interact to affect our health.
|Dr. Rose James talked to teachers about cancer.|
Over two days, the teachers met six University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (UW DEOHS) scientists who discussed environmental health topics ranging from nutrition, vitamins, cancer and lung health, to ethics.
One topic of particular interest was electronic cigarettes, as students are using them but many teachers don't know much about them. There were many questions about the health effects of using electronic cigarettes, or vaping, but we couldn't answer them yet because the FDA has only begun to regulate and study Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). One teacher wondered, "Which is better, smoking or vaping?" PhD candidate David Scoville hesitated to choose - the best choice, he said, is not to use at all.
The American Lung Association's Beverly Stewart presented about kids and tobacco, describing various tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and hookah, and smokeless tobacco products that include strips, orbs, sticks and chewing tobacco. Beverly discussed tobacco marketing, showing teachers that tobacco products are packaged to look like candy and observing that tobacco products are displayed in convenience stores at a 10-year-old's eye level. Kids don't like to be fooled, she said. Talking with them about tobacco marketing is one strategy to discourage tobacco use: "Look how low that display for electronic cigarettes is. I can hardly read that. Whose attention do you think they're trying to get when they put it down so low?"
|Electronic Cigarettes and E-Juices|
|Young researchers explained their work|
The teachers also toured Libin Xu’s research lab in the UW Department of Medicinal Chemistry and listened to PhD students and post-docs describe their projects studying lipids.
|Teachers worked in small groups|
The teachers appreciated being able to talk with the researchers and also trying out the environmental health lessons alongside practical suggestions for the classroom from experienced teachers Marcum and Alvarez.
Here are a few comments from the teachers:
|Teachers listen to a UW presenter|