The St. Jude Cure4Kids Jr. Health Explorer is an interactive iPad app that teaches children about science and healthy living. The educational content presented in this app is divided into three modules. Each module employs an illustrated book written at a grade 3-5 reading level, a quiz to test their knowledge, video clips of experts from St. Jude, and an interactive activity. These modules are designed to reach children with a variety of learning styles and backgrounds as well as to encourage children to think critically through problem solving and scientific inquiry.
1. What are Cells?
The Cells module allows children to explore concepts of cell biology by encouraging them to connect their knowledge of cells in the human body to their personal health. In this module, they read the "What are Cells?" book, which explains that cells, the basic units of life, grow and divide in a controlled way to replace old cells and help living things grow. They also watch a series of expert presentations that include an animation of cell division and compare healthy and diseased cells through an interactive microscope lab activity.
2. What is Cancer?
The Cancer module allows children to explore the science of cancer formation by applying concepts of cell biology to diseased cells. In this module, they read the "What is Cancer?" book, which presents cancer as a disease of unhealthy cells that grow out of control, watch a series of videos which discuss cancers in children, and complete an empathy activity. In the empathy activity, they are introduced to a fictional child who is diagnosed with cancer and asked to draw how the child feels at various stages of treatment.
3. What is Healthy Living?
The Healthy Living module allows children to explore their personal health by emphasizing their power of choice. In this module, they discover the impact of their daily lifestyle choices on their personal health by reading the "What is Healthy Living?" book. This book emphasizes the importance of making healthy food choices, staying physically active, avoiding tobacco use, and using sun protection as a means for reducing the risk of developing cancers in adulthood. They also listen to expert presentations about healthy living and explore interactive 3D models that demonstrate the damaging effects of tobacco use on the mouth and lungs.
This app is an initiative of the St. Jude Cure4Kids for Kids educational program. The purpose of this program is to help children, their parents, and teachers understand the basic science and treatment of cancer. With culturally sensitive and age-appropriate content, the program is designed to dispel common misconceptions about childhood cancer, promote healthy habits in children that could prevent the development of adult cancer, and increase children’s overall interest in science and health careers.