LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2004) -- The Louisville Science Center announced recently that Jody Clasey, associate professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, has been chosen as one of its KY-HEROS (Kentucky Health Education Rural Outreach Scientists). As a result, Clasey’s collaborative research into health issues associated with childhood obesity will be transformed into an educational exhibit at the Louisville Science Center for the next two years.
Clasey will be one of four Kentucky scientists whose work will be featured at the science center. Kent Adams, an associate professor in health education studies at the University of Louisville, will also participate in the Kentucky (HEROS) program, which is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Clasey and Adams have frequently collaborated on a number of research initiatives concerning children’s physical development and obesity. Clasey is only the second UK researcher to be invited to participate in the KY-HEROS program.
According to Beth Blakeley, life sciences coordinator at the Louisville Science Center, the KY-HEROS program selects three teams of two to three scientists every two years who are involved in some form of health education research.
The first part of the KY-HEROS program, said Blakeley, is for the Science Center to construct special exhibits based on the work of each featured scientist. “Dr. Clasey’s and Dr. Adam’s work will be featured prominently in the Science Center. Large oval panels will be hung in the building with their photos and summaries of their work,” Blakeley said.
There will also be video clips of Clasey and Adams talking about the various types of research they are doing, she added.
The second phase of the KY-HEROS program will involve developing educational labs based on Clasey’s and Adam’s research for students from second through twelfth grade. The science center will develop these labs for visiting school students from Kentucky and Indiana.
“We organize these labs to conform to the core content as related to Kentucky’s and Indiana’s educational standards. We have many groups attend these labs throughout the two year cycle,” Blakeley said.
The researchers’ responsibilities during this second phase will be to meet with public groups to talk in depth about their work and provide insights into children’s health.
“I am pleased that the work Kent [ Adams] and I have been doing regarding prevention and intervention strategies related to childhood obesity is receiving attention and will increase awareness. It’s an honor to be able to represent the University of Kentucky in this way and bring some focus to the research programs ongoing in our state,” Clasey commented.