2014 Seed Grants

2014 Seed Grants

Water First for Thirst: Promoting Healthier Beverage Consumption through Youth Advocacy

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. There is considerable evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverage consumption to obesity. A social ecological perspective suggests an approach using strategies that encompass individual, social, environmental, and policy changes that target multiple sectors of society. Youth advocacy has been suggested as a potentially powerful tool to influence changes in nutrition and physical activity environments and policies, as well as a strategy that benefits youth skill development and well-being.

Water First for Thirst (WFFT): Promoting Healthier Beverage Consumption through Youth Advocacy focused on training WFFT Teen Leadership Board youth as advocates for water consumption, and developing and piloting a WFFT Facilitator Guide curriculum. These youth leaders learned facts about sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), the importance of water in individuals’ diets, and the use of youth advocacy and community-level health promotion, and led activities about those topics at the Water First for Thirst Youth Activity Day. Evaluations indicated that participants gained knowledge about SSBs and water consumption, and gained confidence in their abilities to make changes in their communities. The evaluations also showed that teen leaders recognized and valued their roles as advocates for healthier communities. Through this grant, community members attended the WFFT Youth Activity Day and received WFFT t-shirts and teaching kits at no charge. Most importantly, a new WFFT curriculum was developed with youth input that will make the same lessons about SSBs, water, youth advocacy, and community health available to other interested groups. Finally, this program’s success will be sustained through the development of a plan for a long-term, 4-H Healthy Living Youth Advocate program in Ohio.

See facebook.com/WaterFirstforThirst and outreach.osu.edu/newslist-items/waterfirst

PI(s): Carol Smathers, Assistant Professor/Field Specialist, Youth Nutrition and Wellness, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences; Theresa Ferrari, Associate Professor/State Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, College of Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Sciences; Phyllis Pirie, Professor, Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, College of Public Health
Partner(s): Cheryl Graffagnino, Program Manager, Community Health, Columbus Public Health; Jamie Turner, Program Coordinator, “Healthy Children, Healthy Weights”, Community Health, Columbus Public Health; Shawna Hite, Program Assistant, College of Education and Human Ecology


Producing Energy, Protecting Food: The Impact of Shale Energy Development on Food Access in Rural Communities

shopping cartThe aim of our project was to identify possible impacts of shale energy development on local food environments and communicate our findings to stakeholders. Over the course of our grant, our interdisciplinary research team identified key research questions regarding the connection between shale energy development and local food environments. We created a research database from several publicly available secondary data sources and proprietary industry employment data. We used this database to empirically answer our research questions. Our main findings support a statistical relationship between shale energy development and local food environments. Namely, we find that the number of workers in the oil and gas industry impacts the number of fast food and supercenter establishments within the community. We found no relationship between the number of oil and gas workers and the number of retail grocery and convenience stores. Our team presented these results at a variety of academic and outreach-oriented settings, deepening the knowledge base of both researchers and community leaders alike.

Link to webinar on “The Impact of Shale Energy Development on Food Access in Rural Communities” through the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otF4jVfM2tA&feature=youtu.be

PI(s): Michael Betz, Assistant Professor and State Specialist, Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology
Partner(s): Jill Clark, Assistant Professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs; Mark Landefeld, Extension Educator, College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science; Xiang Chen, Graduate Research Associate, Geography, College of Arts and Sciences


Planning Foundation for Development of Skilled Workforce for Advanced Manufacturing

manufacturingThe catalyst behind this project is the shortage of semi-skilled to high-skilled workers for industrial robotics and advanced manufacturing operations, initially in Crawford, Hardin, Marion and Wyandot Counties. According to a 2010 study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, new jobs in Ohio requiring postsecondary education and training will grow by 153,000 between 2008 and 2018 while jobs for high school graduates and dropouts will only increase by 29,000. The report predicts that Ohio will create 1.7 million job vacancies both from new jobs and from job openings due to retirement, and 57% of all jobs in Ohio (3.3 million jobs) will require some postsecondary training beyond high school in 2018. The Dayton Daily News reported in March 2012 that “job growth in the robotics industry is up sharply after a record year that saw $1.17 billion in North American robot sales, but the number of people with robotics skills is falling short of demand.”

To solve the skills-gap issue in this four-county region, communities and educational institutions must understand the competencies that businesses are seeking. This grant funded research to identify specific skills required in advanced manufacturing to input into a shared database. The grant also provided the foundation for an alliance of employers, educational institutions, economic development organizations, and other vested stakeholders.

PI(s): Frank Gibson, Program Manager, Alber Enterprise Center, OSU Marion and College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/OSU Extension – Community Development; Myra Wilson, Program Director, Alber Enterprise Center, OSU Marion and College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/OSU Extension – Community Development; Michael McVey, Special Projects Coordinator, Alber Enterprise Center
Partner(s): Gregory Moon, Director, Office of Wyandot County Economic Development & Regional Planning, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/OSU Extension – Community Development; Dave Claborn, Director Development & Community Relations, The Ohio State University Marion; David Williamson, Director, The Crawford County Partnership for Education & Economic Development; John Hohn, Director of Economic Development, Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance; Sharon Watkins, Hub 21 @ Harding, Coordinator, Harding High School; Ritch Ramey, RAMTEC Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Coordinator, Tri-Rivers Career Center


Climate Explorations and Climate Collaborative: Bringing Cutting Edge Science and Hands-On Investigations to Your Neighborhood and Building Collective Action on Climate Change Education

climate explorationsClimate Explorations will bring Ohio State science researchers, extension educators, and outreach staff into neighborhoods throughout Central Ohio to interact with youth through hands-on activities, and adults through public presentations. Partnerships with local environmental and community organizations provide project sites and ensure diverse audiences. The project will stream six webinars that will later be made available online and serve as a platform to field-test activities to be included in a science education booklet for youth. Training will be provided for formal and informal educators in use of the activities and booklet. Both the webinars and booklets have a sustainable model for dissemination beyond the funding period. A Central Ohio Climate Collaborative will be started to coordinate climate change education initiatives, share best practices, and collectively monitor progress.

PI(s): Jason Cervenec, Education & Outreach Director, Byrd Polar Research Center, Office of Academic Affairs/Office of Research
Partner(s): Jane Wright, Program Manager, 4-H, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Jill Jentes Banicki, Assistant Director, Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Lab, Office of Research


Translating Engineering Research to K-8 (TEK8): Building Compelling Bridges to Engineering Careers

engineering K-8

The TEK8 program completed its third year in Autumn 2015 and the course output, engineering research-based design challenges for middle school students, now benefit the entire 4-H community by virtue of the OSU CARES Seed Grant. Presently, 13 design challenges from the 2014 program year are now hosted on the 4-H website under the STEM Pathways program. Another 12 design challenges from Autumn 2015 are slated to be added to the website in early 2016 when the final editing is complete. More importantly, youth, teachers and 4-H educators across the state can now get authentic, age-appropriate exposure to engineering careers and gain hands-on experience with a key engineering skillset that they will learn via these design challenges: the design process.

See also: College of Engineering video communication of TEK8 Program

PI(s): Howard Greene, Director K-12 Outreach, College of Engineering
Partner(s): Robert Horton, 4-H Extension Specialist, OSU Extension Administration, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Robert Gustafson, Professor and EEIC Director, College of Engineering


NORM Science Outreach Program (NSOP): Science-based Information Regarding the Potential Environmental Exposures Associated with Radionuclides in Cuttings and Water Produced by Hydraulic Fracturing

shale presentationThis project focused on the scientific and educational aspects of issues related to the presence of naturally occurring radioactive material (commonly known as NORM) in the drilling and hydraulic fracturing waste streams. The team gathered knowledge on this topic to be shared first with Extension Educators and then with the citizens of the state of Ohio, including: 1) A literature review was conducted with a goal to prepare a summary and objective interpretation of what is already known about NORM and the drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes, and the uncertainties that remain as reported in the published peer-reviewed literature. In addition, a NORM Workshop was conducted at the Ohio State University; 2) New, original data regarding NORM and drilling and hydraulic fracturing wastes and by-products was generated and objectively interpreted; 3) Applicable learning objectives and corresponding Web-accessible materials were developed based on our summary and objective interpretation of the data already published and data generated by OSU that will enable OSUE educators to explain the science and issues to the public; and 4) A webinar was held to establish a train-the-trainer session for OSUE educators to ensure the information is disseminated efficiently and effectively. The overarching impact of the project is that it proactively addresses relevant local, regional and statewide educational research needs, and supports the work of Extension’s Energize Ohio Signature Program.
See White Paper and Workshop Webite for more information.

PI(s): Jeffrey Daniels, Professor and Director, Subsurface Energy Resource Center, Office of Energy and Environment; Thomas Blue, Professor and Director of the OSU Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Nuclear Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Chris Penrose, Extension Educator, Morgan County, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Mike Lloyd, Extension Educator, Noble County, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Ken Martin, Associate Director and Chair, Department of Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences ; Sarah Cross, Extension Educator, Jefferson/Harrison County, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences ; Mike Bisesi, Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Public Health Partner(s): Nick Basta, Co-Director, Environmental Science Graduate Program, School of Environment and Natural Resources, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Roman Lanno, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Arts and Sciences


Putting Healthy Food on the Table

container gardensThe Putting Healthy Food on the Table project addressed problems of food insecurity in Vinton County by increasing access and consumption of fruits and vegetables by holding gardening and healthy eating classes, creating a community garden, establishing container gardens, teaching food preservation skills, and conducting outreach efforts at local farmers’ market and farm stands. This project provided local residents the information and skills necessary to extend the usable life of fresh produce through preservation and for learning healthy and tasteful methods of preparing fresh produce. The project showed it was more appealing for local residents to grow produce through container gardening at their homes than at a community garden location. The team is interested in establishing another community garden in Vinton County and plans to offer container gardening classes and supplies again next year.

PI(s): Electra Paskett, Professor and Associate Director of Population Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Center; Darla Fickle, Program Director, Appalachia Community Cancer Network, Population Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Partner(s): Travis West, County Extension Director, Extension Educator, 4-H Development, Vinton County, College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Kate Homonai, FCS Program Coordinator, OSU Extension, Vinton County, College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Deanna Tribe, Associate Professor Emeritus, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Bob Rannells, Horticulturist, Community Volunteer, Vinton County