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SEPA Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses

Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses: Animal Contributions towards a Healthier Citizenry is a cooperative effort among Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Discovery Learning Research Center at Discovery Park,  College of Education, Agricultural Communication, College of Health and Human Sciences, Science Bound Program; public schools in Indiana; and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis to develop, evaluate and disseminate educational programs for K-12 students, parents, teachers, and the public about the science involved in keeping people healthy.

The project will emphasize health issues that affect both people and animals: obesity prevention, cancer prevention and asthma.

Specific aims of the project are to:

  • Develop, deliver, and assess innovative, hands-on, problem-based learning curricular modules for grades 3, 6, and 9 that fill educational gaps in health science education and meet Indiana and national academic standards.
  • Excite and recruit K-12 schoolchildren to careers in health science research by providing role models to students. Biomedical and clinical researchers will visit classrooms, camps, and after-school programs to discuss career opportunities in basic science, pre-clinical, and clinical health science.
  • Involve and engage children, parents, and the public in educational fitness activities and programs that will lead to a healthier Indiana citizenry, informed health care decisions, and greater health literacy. Dogs will be included in fitness programs as exercise companions to encourage participation.
  • Design and produce an interactive traveling exhibit that highlights the science involved in keeping people healthy.

To accomplish these aims, seven teams were formed. Follow the links for more information on each team.


The project described is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH . . . Turning Discovery Into Health

Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of ORIP or NIH.