Grants Office Update: April 2020

Principal Investigator: Colleen Young
Department: Office of Child Development 
Project Title: Western PA Early Childhood Education Collaborative
Agency Name: The Grable Foundation
Award Dates: 04/30/20 – 10/29/20 
Amount: $25,000

In Partnership with the School of Education’s Forum for Western Pennsylvania School Superintendents, the Office of Child Development (OCD) will support up to 7 local school superintendents to visit the University of Nebraska’s Buffet Early Childhood Institute to learn about the implementation of their Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan. The goal of this professional development experience is for each district to develop an actionable Early Childhood Plan supported through the development of a local district collaborative. OCD will work with district leaders to determine how to implement ongoing conversations, including local district ECE tours, ongoing shared learning and resource platforms, and ECE-focused sessions during existing Forum bi-annual retreats. As the collaborative grows, other districts will have the opportunity to join and learn from local leaders who can share successful strategies and lessons learned. OCD will support resource and information sharing among the collaborative and out to the region.

Principal Investigator: April Chambers
Department: Health and Human Development 
Project Title: Developing worker-centric recommendations for sit/stand duration: Determining the feasibility of using weight shifts as a marker of discomfort
Agency Name: Office of Ergonomics Research Committee
Award Dates: 05/01/20 – 04/30/21 
Amount: $25,000

Dr. April Chambers, Department of Health and Human Development, has received funding from the Office of Ergonomics Research Committee in collaboration with her Co-Investigator, Dr. Nancy Baker, Department of Occupational Therapy, Tufts University. The project, entitled developing worker-centric recommendations for sit/stand duration, aims to determine the feasibility of using biomechanical measures to recommend appropriate sit/stand dosage for height adjustable workstations.  Sit/stand desks are increasingly a part of the office workplace.  They have been touted as tools to improve physical activity and energy expenditure and as a method to improve discomfort by changing postures.  The ability of sit/stand desks to improve health and discomfort rests on the ability to identify the correct dosage: how much time sitting versus how much time standing is needed to prevent discomfort in both positions. As such, this funding will be used to develop a worker-centric method that will help each worker identify his or her own dosage based on biomechanical factors.