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10.16.13

Texas A&M Veterinary Students Inform Through PEER Webcasts

COLLEGE STATION, TX - The Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health, or PEER, provided a unique opportunity this summer for grade school children all over the country to learn more about health issues involving both pets and people. Second and third year veterinary students from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) presented three One Health webcast sessions, aimed especially at elementary and middle school students, about Pet Nutrition, Skeletons and Bones (also called Orthopedics), and Animal Behavior.

"The three topics of Nutrition, Orthopedics, and Animal Behavior are subjects that interest children and provide them with information they need to know about their pets and themselves," said Dr. Larry Johnson, Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences and the principal investigator of PEER at the CVM. Groups viewing PEER Webcasts numbered 514 this summer.

The first live webcast, "The Scoop on Nutrition," aired on July 1, 2013, and gave children in grades K-12 a veterinary student's perspective on what nutrition is and the impact that it has on our animals. It included a discussion of the consequences associated with poor nutrition, how nutrition can be the first line of defense against serious health issues, and how people can live happier, healthier lives with our pets.

The second live webcast, "Orthopedics Down to the Bone!" aired on July 15, 2013. During this live webcast, the veterinary students explained-using anatomy specimens and x-ray radiographs-what exactly bones are and how they function in the human and animal body.. They also informed the students about innovative new research that is helping humans with bone disorders, as well as what a bone fracture is and how the body can fix them.

The final webcast, "Behavior: Decoded!" aired on July 29, 2013. This final segment interpreted and explored important animal behavior questions that every child should know. This fun and interactive presentation taught students some of the many ways animals can communicate with humans and answered various important questions such as: What do I do if I encounter a wild animal? What is rabies, and why do we need to vaccinate our pets against it? How do I know if my pet is feeling happy, anxious, or aggressive?

"The webcasts provided students an opportunity to access interesting, engaging, educational materials from current veterinary students," said Johnson. "They allowed the students to view them from home, with their family members or friends."

Along with launching its webcasts this summer, PEER has launched free online complete science curricula for grades 6-8 at http://peer.tamu.edu, which has received over 1900 downloads from various states in the first 48 hours. These animal-based/veterinary-related lessons including obesity, clinical trials, and animal research with non-animal related science were molded to meet the state learning standards as students learn about the health of animals, themselves, and their surroundings.

The webcasts are now available on PEER's website at http://peer.tamu.edu/ under "videos."

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For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on Facebook.

Contact Information

Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718



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