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Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

New Bisphenol A Page on Tox Town

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Tox Town, the National Library of Medicine interactive guide to commonly encountered toxic substances, has released a Bisphenol A (BPA)  page: .
Information is provided on where and how one might be exposed to BPA in the environment and how exposure can affect one’s health.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make lightweight, hard plastics and epoxy resins, and can be found in food and drink packaging, water bottles, and baby bottles. BPA can leach into food and beverages that are stored in these consumer products. More research is needed to determine how these findings affect human health. The summary can also be found in Spanish at .

NLM Releases Nanoparticles Page on Tox Town

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Tox Town, the National Library of Medicine interactive guide to commonly encountered toxic substances, has released a Nanoparticles page.

This resource provides a brief summary of nanotechnology and has links to additional resources.

The summary can also be found in Spanish at Nanopartículas

Nanotechnology uses matter at sizes between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and working with matter at this scale. Nanomaterials have unique optical, electrical, and magnetic properties. The small size of these materials makes them promising and challenging to work with. However, their characteristics may be different from those of larger particles with the same chemical composition.

There is concern about the interaction of nanoparticles with human health and their effects on the environment. The risk of pollution from nanoparticles and associated health problems to those involved in manufacturing these materials as well as to consumers using these products is unknown.

“Ready Classroom” Teaches Emergency Preparedness Nationwide

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Although first announced in April of this year, this resource bears mentioning again at the beginning of a new school year and the approach of National Preparedness Month.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ad Council have joined with Discovery Education to announce Ready Classroom, an online educational program. Ready Classroom will provide elementary and middle school teachers with resources to integrate natural disaster preparedness information into their curriculum. The program is an extension of Ready Kids, a nationwide effort designed to encourage children and families to take action and prepare for emergencies.

This online resource,, targets grades K – 8 and provides teachers with activities, lesson plans and multimedia tools that teach students how natural disasters develop and inspires them to build their own emergency preparedness plans with their families. The complete news release can be found at .

The American Public Health Association urges all Americans to “Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved.” National Get Ready Day is September 15, 2009, to coincide with National Preparedness Month.

New NLM History of Medicine Banner Exhibition

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) History of Medicine Exhibition Program is accepting requests to host a new banner exhibition scheduled to be available October 4 2009.

The title is Literature of Prescription: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Yellow Wallpaper. In the late nineteenth century, at a time when women were challenging traditional ideas about gender that excluded them from political and intellectual life, medical and scientific experts drew on notions of female weakness to justify inequality between the sexes. Artist and writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was discouraged from pursuing a career to preserve her health, rejected these ideas in a terrifying short story titled “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” The famous tale served as an indictment of the medical profession and the social conventions restricting women’s professional and creative opportunities.

As with other banner exhibitions, NLM is asking host libraries to cover incoming Federal Express expenses, which usually run a couple of hundred dollars. The booking period is 6 weeks. The online exhibition will feature K-12 lesson plans and a higher education module and will be available after Labor Day.

For more information see:

Questions may be directed to Jill Newmark, Exhibition Registrar in the NLM History of Medicine Division:

“Harry Potter’s World” Now Online

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The National Library of Medicine’s exhibition “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” is now available online! View “Harry Potter’s World” at The banner show, which will travel to libraries around the country through the American Library Association starting in fall 2009, explores the plants, animals, and magic featured in the Harry Potter book series and their roots in Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science.  It incorporates the works of several fifteenth- and sixteenth-century thinkers mentioned in the Harry Potter book series and looks at topics such as alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy, as well as the ethical issues faced by both the fictitious characters from the novels and the historical figures who influenced them. The website for “Harry Potter’s World” includes the full exhibition text, middle/high school lesson plans, and a higher education module for professors and students.
Visit the American Library Association’s request for proposals for libraries interested in hosting the traveling banner exhibition at

Please refer any questions about “Harry Potter’s World” to

New Teaching Tools Available for Science and Diabetes Education in Native American Schools

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Schools across the country now have free access to an innovative set of teaching tools designed to increase the understanding of science, health, and diabetes among American Indian and Alaska Native students from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The comprehensive new curriculum, called “Health is Life in Balance,” was launched on November 12, 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

The curriculum, a product of the Diabetes-based Science Education in Tribal Schools (DETS) program, integrates science and Native American traditions to educate students about science, diabetes and its risk factors, and the importance of nutrition and physical activity in maintaining health and balance in life. The project was developed in collaboration with eight tribal colleges and universities and several Native American organizations, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The rate of diagnosed diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives is two to three times that of non-Hispanic whites. Nearly 17 percent of the total adult population served by the IHS has diagnosed diabetes. After adjusting for population age differences, diabetes rates vary from 6 percent among Alaska Native adults to 29 percent among American Indian adults in southern Arizona. Once seen only in adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in youth, especially in American Indian and other minority populations.

The curriculum units provide accurate, culturally tailored materials and lesson plans for use in more than 1,000 tribal schools on reservations and in public schools that have a sizable number of Native American students. “This curriculum can change perceptions and attitudes about diabetes and empower young people to adopt healthier lifestyles,” said Kelly Acton, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention of the IHS, which will oversee distribution to schools.

To order printed copies or CDs of the curriculum free of charge, see the IHS website

Tox Town now in Spanish

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Tox Town: Nuevo recurso en español de la Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina

Tox Town is now available in both English, and en español, Visitors can learn in English or in Spanish about environmental health concerns and over 30 toxic chemicals in these imaginary neighborhoods: a City, Farm, Town, US-Mexico Border, and Port.

In either language, Tox Town uses neighborhood scenes along with color, graphics, sounds, and animation to add interest to learning about connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public’s health. Tox Town’s target audience is high school, college and graduate students, educators, and the interested public.

Tox Town en español identifies Spanish-language information in a subject area – environmental health and toxicology – that currently has few Web resources. To supplement the limited Web resources in Spanish, nearly 100 pages of background information describing environmental health concerns were translated and reviewed by a team of bilingual health information specialists.

Tox Town is ideal for supplementing classes in environmental science, earth science, forensics, and health. Also, students learning to read either English or Spanish may use Tox Town to improve language skills as they toggle back and forth between the Spanish and English text.

Tox Town joins three other Spanish-language Web resources from the National Library of Medicine. ToxMystery, for grades 2–6, features a bilingual talking cat that teaches about possible chemical hazards around the home, MedlinePlus (en español at directs users to hundreds of Spanish-language resources on health including drug information, news stories and interactive tutorials that read aloud in Spanish or in English. The AIDSinfo Web site, home for treatment guidelines, drug information and clinical trials related to HIV/AIDS, also has a Spanish version, infoSIDA, available at

Tox Town® is a project of the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Promotional materials and Tox Town images for Web sites and publications are listed at Please send your comments or questions on Tox Town to

Toxie the Cat goes Trick or Treating

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Take a look at Toxie the Cat’s Halloween costume at ToxMystery.

Toxie the Cat Speaks Spanish

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Toxie the Cat ahora habla español.

Toxie, the ToxMystery guide cat, has gone back to school and can now speak Spanish. ToxMystery gamers can now move between English and Spanish as they explore the ToxMystery “house of hazards.”

The new ToxMystery en español has a “Para los padres” page giving parents more detailed information about potential household hazards. The “Para maestros” page is for teachers and has lesson plans and downloadable classroom activity pages in Spanish. ToxMystery can be used in science, health, and even for teaching in Spanish and English language classes.

ToxMystery ( is purrfect for 7-11 year olds (and fun for all ages) to learn about possible chemical hazards around the home. ToxMystery is an e-learning game that uses animation, sound effects and positive reinforcement to teach students about environmental health hazards around the home.

Come play with Toxie and see if you can find the hazards in English and en español!

Tox Town Has a New Look

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Tox Town’s website ( has a fresh, updated look. This version features a new home page and a header and footer across all pages.

The text version and Spanish version pages also have been updated. The menu for each of these text pages is on the left side of the page. The content remains the same. Examples: Acetone ( and Acetona ( ).