LSU SRP recently wrapped environmental health science enrichment collaboration with the Big Buddy Program. Over the course of six weeks the LSU SRP Research Translation Core engaged upper elementary and middle school students in hand-on activities related to ecology, bio magnification, air pollution, and water filtering and soil. Elizabeth Feld, LSU SRP trainee, led one activity using LegosTM to demonstrate chemical reactions and air pollution. The weekly enrichment sessions were held from June 2nd– July 10th at Hosanna Christian Academy and South Baton Rouge Charter School, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Big Buddy’s Summer Enrichment Academy involves elementary and middle-school students in activities and academic instructional exercises that reinforce the importance of healthy lifestyles. Professional educators and program instructors created and implemented activities linking the healthy systems of life theme to grade level expectations associated with the last quarter of the school year.
Big Buddy Executive Director Gaylynne Mack notes that, “It is very important, during the out-of-school-times, youth are provided with opportunities and experiences that help them to explore and enhance their knowledge gained in the classroom. The goal of the academic component is to prevent participants from experiencing summer learning loss, the loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. Mack also stated, “The expertise of professional partners, like the LSU Superfund Research program, enhances the activity offerings in our summer enrichment program by providing targeted enrichment in specific fields. This expertise and access to the rich learning experiences would not be available to the youth without this partnership. The LSU Superfund Research program educated the Little Buddies about the environmental health sciences field and how this study helps to improve the overall health of our population.”