Environmental Health Literacy
The MIT CEHS COE2C activities include both ongoing opportunities as well as annual events.
Volunteers from communities in the Boston area and from university groups such as the fraternity Alpha Phi Omega assemble science kits for youth. The COE2C’s community volunteer program is further enhanced by partnership with the non-profit organization, People Making a Difference™ (PMD). PMD organizes and promotes large events with local corporations, such as Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. The science kit recipients are afterschool neighborhood programs such as Breakthrough Cambridge and the Cambridge Public Schools.
The COE2C delivers the program, "A Closer Look at Exposures" at the Cambridge Science Festival (CSF) annually.
The MIT CEHS COE2C has presented an environmental health science booth at Cambridge Public Library during the CSF every year since the event began in 2007. MIT’s COE2C displays hands-on table activities that are inviting for all families. While the children are occupied and learning with these activities, the parents are engaged by asking of questions. DNA Repair is our most recent activity. We help people understand what causes sunburns and how children are more vulnerable. Air pollution and climate change are the other topics we address as well at the Cambridge Science Festival.
The COE2C supports "DNA Explainers" at the MIT Museum for public audiences.
The MIT CEHS COE2C provides training for MIT graduate students who regularly facilitate environmental health conversations with MIT Museum visitors on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the most popular visitor days. The volunteers explain DNA structure using a flexible LEGO model. They also explain how DNA can become damaged by the environment, sparking lively conversations about radiation, smoking, and cancer. We hope visitors can apply this information to what they already know.
Community “Clean Air Fair” Health event
The MIT CEHS COE2C piloted the Atoms and Molecules Sets to teach about air pollution at the Vietnamese Community Center in Boston in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health.