Recently I had the opportunity to sit with Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director of the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). The conversation landed s
This is an excellent mini-case study of how an organization can integrate the use of networks with being data informed.
CMOM has worked with theNational Institutes of Health to use real-time data from CMOM to develop a health curriculum for young children, incorporating the impact of sleep deprivation on childhood obesity. Normally, it would take years of research for the NIH to add such a component to its curriculum, but the compelling observations provided by the Museum prompted an unprecedented acceleration of the standard procedure. “This collaboration,” notes Andy, “came about through serendipitous networking in D.C. During a break from a presentation I made at a National Endowment for the Humanities, I mentioned our health program to a program officer at the NEH. He connected me to his wife at the NIH and the rest is history.”
With the cooperation of the NIH and a national advisory board of pediatric and health experts, researchers and community partners CMOM adapted the NIH’s We Can! ™ obesity prevention program for ages 8 to 13 into an 11-lesson curriculum for children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers .This new curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy based approach to learning and was tested with low income families in the Bronx, New Orleans and in Head Start Centers in New York City. According to Andy, “three-year evaluation findings on the curriculum have confirmed of our observational research – the type of research that is critical to help us understand how to formulate questions to enable program development and further research.”