Student Participants Come to UC for 2-Day Kick-Off Event
By Alice Deters
While the Opioid Crisis is making headlines across the United States, communities in and around Cincinnati have been hit particularly hard. “Youth Built Change” (formerly called “Growing Community Change Researchers in STEM”), a project funded by a Science Education Partnership Award by the National Institute of Health, aims to let student researchers gain real world research experience as they investigate innovative ways to address the opioid crisis within their communities.
For this project, Youth Built Change will be working with students and teachers at two high schools. One is Princeton High School in Cincinnati and the other is Manchester High School in Manchester Ohio.
The students joined us at UC in May for a Research Kickoff Day. While they were here, the students participated in a variety of activities to help get them excited about the project and get them thinking about their research questions. They participated in a Group Level Assessment about their views on research, science and drug addiction. They heard from a number of speakers, including our researchers, Dr. Farrah Jacquez and Dr. Lisa Vaughn, drug addiction expert Dr. LaTrice Montgomery, and local activist Christina Brown.
The students also participated in a Digital Storytelling project, where each student made short videos explaining how drug abuse and addiction has impacted them, their families, and their schools/communities. We wanted students to get a chance to tell their story, develop their voice, and we hoped that this would help guide their individual research projects.
Teachers also spent the two days participating in their own kick-off events. They spent their time working on ideas for curriculum development for the school year.
We can’t wait for the students to get back to school in August so we can begin working on their research projects. We can’t wait to see what kinds of research questions they choose to investigate, and we love that their stories and voices will get a chance to shine in whatever project they choose!