The Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM)-in partnership with health professionals at United Family Medicine and Open Cities Health Clinic, independent, nonprofit providers of primary health care, physician training, health promotion and outreach services serving St. Paul's diverse West Seventh neighborhood and, an award winning website dedicated to helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care-proposes to use a unique collection of historical objects, interactive exhibit components, and contemporary examples of both questionable and legitimate medical products and services to demonstrate the importance of evidence-based decision making. Through related programming, teen presenters will engage diverse audiences outside of the museum in demonstrations and discussions based on the exhibition content, professional actors will challenge museum audiences to fully evaluate medical reports and products, and a website will make the content and additional information accessible to an even wider audience. Participants in and out of the museum will use scientific evidence, questioning skills and critical thinking to identify medical reports, products and claims that are fraudulent, ineffective or unnecessary and others that have passed rigorous scientific review. Weighing the Evidence: Making Informed Health Care Decisions will engage participants in an interactive exhibition and programming that empowers them to become more scientifically literate, to question health- related claims, and to base their health care decisions on reliable evidence. Learning Goals: All participants will: Become aware of the need to act as active, competent health care consumers who ask questions about the evidence that underlies different health claims. * Begin to develop new strategies for questioning the evidence behind different health products. These strategies may include (but are not limited to): looking for costs, risks, and benefits;identifying evidence as scientific, clinical, or personal;recognizing red flags for inadequate evidence, and more. * Recognize and better understand the role of research in developing new health care products and in the advancement of medical treatments. * Appreciate the role that cultural traditions and values play in the shaping individuals'views on health and wellness - including our own. For the Health Crew outreach team only, participants will also: * Become better prepared to pursue STEM careers in particular health sciences.

Public Health Relevance

The Weighing the Evidence: Making Informed Health Care Decisions project will highlight the importance of being scientifically literate, to question healt-related claims, and to base health care decisions on reliable evidence. These are skills that are very important as citizens now play a more active role in making their own health care decisions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-CR-9 (01))
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Beck, Lawrence A
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Science Museum of Minnesota
St. Paul
United States
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