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The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a pandemic (COVID-19), requiring measured approaches such as public lockdowns and quarantining. Engaging with the community is warranted in order the significance of these public health efforts. Further, recognizing each community’s potential towards curbing COVID-19 will reaffirm these public health actions.

  • To build K-12 student awareness about the science of COVID-19 and the public health response.
  • To promote public health action (social distancing, handwashing, face masks) through education.
  • To increase engagement between K-12 students and health care professionals.
  • To develop a pipeline of health educators from diverse backgrounds.
  • To implement a “teach the teacher” model of health education that can be scaled locally and/or nationally.

Therefore, we propose to implement the COVID-19 Teaching Series with insight and projects for elementary to high school level students.


Courses

There are three versions of the COVID-19 curriculum that cater to the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each module is presented by trained instructors. One session is 30 minutes long with an additional 10-15 for questions and answers. Handouts are provided for students and teachers.

Below is a brief review of the process of the COVID-19 Teaching Series curriculum.

Module One: Biology of Virus Module covers the biological makeup, signs, and symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, and preventative measures to use to stop the spread.

Module Two: Chemistry of Hand Hygiene examines viral anatomy, and the efficacy of hand washing and hand sanitizers as preventative methods to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Module Three: Mathematical Models Module explains the variables to consider in reducing the rate of infection, as well as how the virus reproduces through the air in indoor and outdoor environments.

Module Four: Physics of Face Masks details the how personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks can help decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including a hands-on activity on how to make your own face mask at home.

Module Five: Vaccine discusses the history, effectiveness, and makeup of vaccines, and addresses concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine that communities may have.

Modules Six and Seven (Parts 1 and 2): Mental Health and Wellness discusses recognizing the symptoms of stress, dealing with feelings during COVID, and cultivating healthy coping mechanisms for mental well-being during these unprecedented times.

Module Eight: Myth-Busters emphasizes the importance of scientific literacy and critical thinking, and debunking common misconceptions about scientific findings, specifically relating to COVID-19.


Volunteers

The Johns Hopkins HEAT Corps recruits volunteer instructors from across the Hopkins student body and at any training level (undergraduate and graduate professional students, graduate medical education trainees).

SOURCE, the JHU community engagement and service-learning center for the health professional schools, promotes the HEAT Corps program across the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing and trains the student instructors. We regard this as critical component of the University’s commitment to strengthening community engagement.

Johns Hopkins HEAT Corps is a unique opportunity for the Hopkins student body to develop health education and teaching skills and support youth in their understanding of COVID-19. HEAT Corps discuss how youth can make a difference by modeling social distancing, handwashing, and mask wearing. Additional benefits of the program include:

  • increased engagement between K-12 youth and health care professionals
  • development of a pipeline of health educators from diverse backgrounds
  • implementation of a “teach the teacher” model of health education that can be scaled locally and/or nationally
  • Volunteers will receive training and guidance from a team of Johns Hopkins faculty and staff. We invite volunteers to become a part of an exciting national initiative!

The application cycle for Spring 2021 volunteers has now closed. Opportunities to apply will be announced at a later time. To learn more about the volunteer recruitment process, email heatcorps@jhu.edu