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A multimedia toolkit for teaching environmental health literacy topics related to Superfund sites

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43ES031429-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43ES031429
Amount: $148,820.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIEHS
Solicitation Number: ES19-005
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-02-28
Small Business Information
3600 FAU BLVD STE 201
Boca Raton, FL 33431-6474
United States
DUNS: 157649471
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (561) 988-0550
Business Contact
Phone: (561) 988-0550
Research Institution

Human health and the environment are intimately intertwined. By building literacy around environmental health
risks, individuals and communities will be better able to critically access related information and to make
judgments and informed decisions to maintain or improve quality of life. However, low levels of science literacy
and numeracy are common among lay individuals and can act as a barrier to understanding basic data and
quantitative risk information. ArchieMD proposes to develop an education environmental health literacy (EHL)
tool for secondary and post-secondary students, in the form of an interactive multimedia smart phone application
that provides both a means of acquiring foundational environmental health content knowledge as well as written,
numerical, and analytical skills essential to EHL. Because students are most likely to be engaged and experience
better learning when they can make relevant connections between the material at hand and their own lives, the
proposed application will allow students to identify a superfund site in their vicinity, and to build EHL around the
site of their choosing. This will include assessing health risks associated with environmental exposures that
relate to that site, as well as how to manage these risks. The app, supported by layered interactive visuals, will
include case study scenarios, data sets and risk analysis tools that can be used to interpret data, generate a risk
estimate, and make informed decisions. Innovative visual models (“risk severity pictographs”) will be developed
to expand upon traditional pictographs to communicate environment exposure risks in accessible ways.
Information will be presented in a non-linear fashion to adapt to the needs of the user. This interactive approach
is designed to engage the user and improve learning comprehension. To demonstrate proof-of-concept, a
prototype application will be developed in Phase I. Specifically, ArchieMD will: 1) Develop content to support
acquisition of EHL, including curriculum and interactive exercises with connection to national education
standards; 2) Build out an initial multimedia prototype application, including innovative visual models and age
appropriate tools to view and analyze data; 3) Develop the ability to access and search a database of superfund
sites from within the app; and 4) Evaluate the efficacy of the app in supporting EHL acquisition by providing
equivalent information to secondary students, either in the form of standard text-based materials or ArchieMDandapos;s
interactive multimedia application, and comparing student outcomes. By incorporating environmental health
concepts into a hands-on active learning format that stimulates student interest and has a clear connection to
national education standards, the proposed innovation will build literacy around environmental health risks. The
app can also be adapted for use by the general public.Project Narrative
The environment is a major determinant of health and wellbeing, with 70 to 90% of disease risks linked to
environment, and one in four cases of chronic disease attributed to environmental exposures. The proposed
education environmental health literacy app for secondary and post-secondary students will allow students to
acquire foundational environmental health content knowledge as well as written, numerical, and analytical skills
essential to environmental health literacy. Improved awareness and understanding of risks associate with
environmental exposures is anticipated to lead to behavior changes that minimize risk of exposure and promote
increased quality of life.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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