Funded By Neutrogena, AAAS Launches “Skin
Deep” Education Project
With skin cancer on the rise and adolescents as concerned as ever
with acne, AAAS is launching “Skin Deep,” a two-year project
that will feature an ambitious outreach and education program aimed
at students, their teachers and the general public.
Funded by a grant of just over $300,000 from Neutrogena, the skin-care
industry leader, “Skin Deep” will feature a book, brochures,
teacher training and a package of standards-based science lessons
tailored to students ranging from fifth to 12th grade.
The book will be part of the AAAS Healthy People Library Project
series, and will be distributed primarily through schools, public
libraries and health facilities. The curriculum materials will be
released gradually, with all of them due for completion by the end
of 2006; they will be featured on the AAAS
Science NetLinks Web site, which provides lesson plans and curriculum
support materials to thousands of classrooms nationwide.
“The AAAS/Neutrogena partnership is a wonderful opportunity
to reach out to the education community and provide relevant science-focused
lessons and activities to the middle and high school population,”
said Clinton Turner Jr., AAAS’s project manager for Science
NetLinks. “It is during these grades that many students encounter
their first experiences with hormonal changes and issues with acne,
so it will be a big benefit for these students to understand the science
behind their skin.”
“As the world’s premier skin and hair care company, promoting
healthy skin is at the core of what Neutrogena stands for, both as
a business and as a socially responsible company,” said Dave
Jennings, Neutrogena’s vice president/human resources. “The
Skin Deep initiative is an innovative and exciting way for Neutrogena
to leverage our business expertise and charitable dollars to educate
today's youth on the science behind such topics as acne, melanoma,
hyperpigmentation, stress, wrinkles and aging.”
Bob Hirshon, AAAS director of media programs, agreed that teen skin
concerns offer an opportunity to engage students about an array of
“Using the subject of skin as a jumping off point, the obvious
topic areas for high school students are ‘skin and sun’
— how ultraviolet light causes skin cancer — and acne
— how bacteria interact with skin cells to cause pimples,”
Hirshon said. “But there is a lot more science we can cover.
For example, what is the skin’s role in thermoregulation —
keeping the body cool when it’s hot out and warm when it’s
cold out? How does the skin act as a sensory organ, allowing us to
experience touch and feel heat? How does the healing process work?
All of these are valid scientific topics that start with skin.”
The lessons are especially important because of the increasing incidence
of skin cancer. According to the American
Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers.
Melanoma accounts for about 4 percent of skin cancer cases, but it
causes about 79 percent of skin cancer deaths. Despite broad success
in reducing the incidence of cancer in the United States, reported
cases of melanoma have been rising for both women and men. The American
Cancer Society estimates that in 2005 there will be 59,580 new cases
of melanoma in the United States; an estimated 7,770 people will die
of the disease.
The “Skin Deep” project is based on the assumption that
students learn best when the science they study is tied to accessible,
relevant subject matter. It will include three principal elements:
- The “Skin Deep” book will be tailored
to a general audience, and will include the latest research on skin
and sun exposure, aging and skin, how the skin heals and how the
skin protects the body. Tentatively titled “Human Skin: The
Science Inside,” the book is due for publication in 2006 and
will be distributed primarily through schools, public libraries
and health facilities. This plain language book will be the eighth
volume in the AAAS
Healthy People Library Project.
- Science lessons for students grades 5-12 that
will be presented on Science NetLinks. There will be 12 standards-based
lessons, geared toward different age groups. To complement the lessons,
AAAS will produce three dynamic interactive web
modules, similar to those the association has created for NASA
and other partners. All three are due for completion in 2006. All
of the materials in the “Skin Deep” program will be
aligned to the Project
2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy.
Science NetLinks is currently visited by tens of thousands of teachers
over 2 million times per year. But the reach could be even more
extensive because Science NetLinks is part of a much larger teacher
resource called Marco
Polo, a K-12 multi-disciplinary program, and “Skin Deep”
materials also will be included in its search engine.
In addition, all Internet material, including electronic versions
of the book, will be featured on the Neutrogena
home page, which also is viewed by thousands of visitors.
- “Skin Deep” workshops will be held
across the country. By the completion of the workshops, the program
expects to train 300 educators, each equipped with the knowledge
and materials to bring the program to several dozen teachers in
their districts. With 300 science supervisors/master teachers overseeing
approximately 36 teachers each, and each teacher seeing 100 students
in the course of a week, the potential reach is over a million students.
The value of such lessons is expected to linger with the students
long after they become adults, said Jennings, the Neutrogena vice
“Ultimately,” he said, “through our partnership
with AAAS, Neutrogena hopes to raise the quality of life and self-esteem
for girls and boys of all ages by equipping them with the knowledge
to make better, wiser and healthier decisions related to proper skin
care and maintenance."
For more information, visit Science
29 December 2005