Health and the Brain Neuroscience Outreach

Worksite Location
CCE Ontario; Camp Bristol Hills
Faculty Sponsor
Valerie Reyna, Professor and Department Extension Leader, Human Development
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Tim Davis, 4-H Youth Development Issue Leader, CCE Ontario County
Stipend Amount
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The intern will be in residence in Ithaca as well as 4-H Camp Bristol Hills in Canandaigua, New York. There will also be some interaction with CCE Tompkins County to develop local program delivery sites.

The intern will contribute to a new FFF Health and the Brain Neuroscience Outreach initiative led by Dr. Valerie Reyna. The summer internship will involve translation of Dr. Reyna’s research findings into age-appropriate educational materials and hands-on activities, planning for the initial development of educational modules (potentially on eating or fitness and the brain) with CCE educators and members of the research team, and delivering the module or component activities. The project will address youth development goals in STEM and Healthy Living while also addressing the College of Human Ecology priority of integrating scientific research with community service. Specifically, we will seek innovative methods for not only translating faculty research, but also engaging youth directly in it.

The Health and the Brain Neuroscience Outreach project integrates research and extension activities with the aim of developing a six-hour 4-H STEM curriculum on health and the brain that draws directly on research by faculty in the Department of Human Development. Three to six modules will be developed that use hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning methods to engage students in learning about the brain, health and science. The project will utilize the national 4-H SET curriculum design system to make the modules widely available. Modules will be piloted in various youth development venues and activities such as: 4-H clubs, classrooms and 4-H Career Explorations.

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern will work closely with Dr. Reyna’s research team as well as with CCE educators. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: planning, research on curriculum, research on curriculum design and delivery methodology and pilot teaching the curriculum.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible.

The preferred candidate will demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm for Dr. Reyna’s research in memory across the life span and adolescent risky decision making and for applying this research in outreach and educational settings and working with youth. The candidate will also have completed general coursework in Human Development or Human Biology, Health and Society and be in excellent academic standing.

Benefits and Skills

The intern will have the opportunity to gain skills in program development, translation and application of research to real-world problems, working with and through others, translating research into outreach and educational materials and youth development programming. They will also have the opportunity to gain knowledge of psychology and related behavioral sciences, public health and issues in education.