Education/Outreach Core The primary goals of the Education and Outreach Core are to promote a better understanding of issues concerning reproductive health and infertility in low income, underserved communities and by middle school and high school students, as well as by adults. To develop a strong relationship with the community we will work with an advocate for community health in African American and other underserved groups to organize community meetings in health clinics in underserved areas of Pittsburgh. The P50 scientists will make presentations and answer questions in these community meetings. This core will also make use of a unique resource at the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Science Outreach (www.pittscienceoutreach.com), that works with faculty across the university to develop novel science lectures and laboratories to translate an understanding of the research happening at the university into engaging learning experiences for the public. We will develop 3 new laboratory experiences to teach about male fertility and infertility treatment. These labs will be tested and optimized in Pittsburgh schools. We will also develop teacher workshops to facilitate the transfer of these laboratory activities to schools throughout Pittsburgh, Ithaca, New York, St. Louis. In each location we will train post-docs, graduate students and undergraduate students working with the P50 scientists to facilitate these labs when they are given in local classrooms in each community. We will make the new science activities available to all NCHD NCTRI investigators, as well as publish these protocols in education journals to maximize their availability.
The aims of this Core are: (1) to hold community meetings in each of three health clinics in underserved communities in Pittsburgh to provide information about the causes and treatments of male infertility, (2) to develop three new hands-on science activities that teach about male reproductive biology and the genetic causes of infertility including a testis histology lab, a mock male fertility work-up lab, and a DNA isolation, sequencing and finger-printing lab, as well as a new lecture on the effects of environmental exposures on the epigenome and potential consequences for fertility and offspring, (3) develop a Teacher's Workshop curriculum to educate middle and high school teachers about male reproductive biology and the genetic causes of infertility and to provide them with adequate background to run these activities in their classrooms in Pittsburgh, Ithaca, New York and St. Louis, and (4) to deliver labs to reach an average of 1,000 students/year and an average of 150 adults/year in Pittsburgh in collaboration with Pitt Science Outreach, and facilitate delivery of labs to students in Pittsburgh, Ithaca, New York and St. Louis through teacher training with a goal of reaching an additional 400 students/year in underserved communities in all regions associated with this P50.