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P132 Pilot Year Evaluation of a STEAM and Nutrition Summer Program for Low-Income, Urban Youth

      Background

      Racially and ethnically diverse and low-income youth are more likely to experience academic and health-related disparities. The newly developed Project Science and Technology Reinforced by Innovative Dietary Education (Project stRIde) is a STEAM and nutrition summer camp program supported by a USDA CYFAR grant. It is designed for elementary-aged youth with the purpose of reinforcing content learned over the school year and improving dietary behaviors.

      Objective

      To conduct a process evaluation of the Project stRIde pilot program, assess needs for future camp staff implementation, assess post-lesson knowledge, and evaluate change in self-efficacy, attitudes towards STEAM, and skin carotenoid levels.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      The study used a mixed methods design to collect pre/post-test data for youth and interviews with staff. The program was delivered once a week for six weeks by nutrition and 4-H professionals to low-income, racially, and ethnically diverse youth (n = 40; grades 4-7) attending two urban summer camps in Rhode Island. Participants were 71.8% Black, 28.2% White, and 32.4% identified as Hispanic or Latino.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Program process measurements, interviews with camp staff, and weekly post-lesson questions for youth were collected along with pre/post measures. T-tests assessed pre/post attitudes towards STEAM, Asking for Fruit and Vegetable Self-Efficacy (AFVSE), and skin carotenoid levels with a significance level of P < 0.05.

      Results

      Overall, 67.5% of youth attended 4 or more lessons. Interviews with summer camp staff indicated the program was engaging and well-structured. Staff suggested shorter videos and stand-alone activities with basic concepts and understandable directions. For most lessons, youth scored ≥70% on post-lesson questions. There were no changes in attitudes towards STEAM, AFVSE, or skin carotenoid scores.

      Conclusions

      Project stRIde had an overall promising pilot year with post-lesson questions indicating youth comprehension of the content. Modifications to curriculum content and delivery will be made in order for this program to be successful and sustainable in future years.

      Funding

      USDA

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.173.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA