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.”
LSU SRP trainees and members of the Research Translation core presented hands on workshops and lesson demonstrations at the 2015 Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 27-28, 2015. The symposium was a two-day professional development event hosted by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission, Louisiana Environmental Education Association, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that consisted of short courses and sessions geared to grade level and presented by environmental educators from around Louisiana. The annual symposium is aimed at providing formal and non-formal environmental educators from Louisiana and the surrounding region with up to date environmental education information and techniques.
Members of the LSU SRP led three different sessions at the symposium. Trainees Brittany Dupre and John Young led a presentation entitled “Visualizing Combustion and Particulate Matter Pollution.” Young also gave a poster presentation on his M.S. research entitled “Investigation of Potentially Hazardous Fine Particulate Matter in Homes: Designing a Particle Filtration System,” which was supported in part by a Louisiana Environmental Education Commission grant. Kelli Palmer and Maud Walsh of the Research Translation core led a session on bio magnification of PCBs entitled “Where Do All the Toxins Go?” Trainees Elisabeth Feld and Cholena Ren led a chemistry and air pollution activity to demonstrate the connection between fuel combustion and environmental health issues. The presentations engaged a diverse group of educators from across Louisiana with activities that they can use in their classroom. The educators present also gave useful feedback as to how the demonstrations could be modified or improved to suit the appropriate audience.
Environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) are formed on the surfaces of transition metal-containing particles by chemisorption of a molecular precursor and electron transfer from the organic to the metal, resulting in reduction of the metal and formation of the EPFR. Association of some radicals with the metal increases their stability and reduces their rate of reaction with oxygen such that they can persist for several days in the environment. EPFRs have been found associated with soot and fly-ash produced from the combustion of hazardous wastes and Superfund soils from a former wood-treatment facility contaminated with pentachlorophenol. EPFRs are formed in high concentrations in the thermal and cool-zones of incinerators and other thermal treatment devices for remediation of Superfund sites, where they can also react, primarily by radical-radical recombination, to form polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs).