Urban and Rural High School Students Unite During Opioid Epidemic Community Research Project
The Growing Community Change Researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program kicks off its first of five years at University of Cincinnati.
By: John(na) Jackson
Date: June 4, 2018
Early morning on May 16, in the Tangeman University Center on the UC main campus loud chants of “Black Lives Matter!” echoed down the 4th floor halls. Local anti-racist activist, Christina Brown, led a group of 50 high school students in their first rallying cries. The exercise may have helped to wake them up, but it was also their introductory lecture into the world of community organizing and advocacy.
Funded by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the program is titled Growing Community Change in Researchers in STEM. The principle investigators include Farrah Jacquez, Associate Professor of Psychology and Kathie Maynard, Assistant Dean of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CHECH) Innovation and Opportunity.
Uniting juniors and seniors from Princeton High School in Hamilton County and Manchester High School in Adams County, the program brings together two teachers and 25 students from each school to address the unique ways the opioid epidemic has affected the health and happiness of their respective communities.
During their time at UC, the students were initiated into the world of STEM research as well as engaged in discussions around community activism. In one activity, students answered questions on large sheets of butcher paper hung around the room. The questions addressed practical matters of research, as well as topics related to community advocacy – “The biggest problem in our community is…”