Harvard College Health Advocacy Program

Off-Campus Teaching

This semester, HAP will be teaching a course entitled “Food and Nutrition: A Microscopic to Macroscopic Exploration” lead by Emily Venable.  The course will be taught through MIT’s Educational Studies Program.  Check out the course listing on MIT’s catalog here.

Fall 2013 Courses through Harvard Educational Studies Program:

“Exploring the Science and Politics of Nutrition

How can I tell if a food is truly “healthy”?  What do food labels mean?  Why do Americans eat what they eat?  This course examines the science and politics behind nutrition and seeks to make students more aware about what contributes to their food choice.  The course starts by covering the science behind nutrition including the biology, physiology, and chemistry behind food and cooking.  Then the course covers important food policy and nutrition policy issues including soda taxes, school lunch policy, food labeling, food marketing regulation, agricultural subsidies, and food assistance programs.  The students range in age from junior high to high school and come from all around the Greater Boston area.

nuts puddingfruits and veggies

Contact Emily Venable <emilyvenable@college.harvard.edu> to get involved!

 “Sound Knowledge: the physics and biology of hearing”

The class’s main goal is to spread awareness about music-induced hearing damage that can occur through the concert/party/iPod culture pervasive in our culture.  After gaining a foundation of sound and hearing that includes discussions on sound waves, decibels, and the structure and function of the ear, students understand high decibel sounds cause hearing damage. Students also learn the physiological cause of deafness, which is damage to the neurons, called hair cells, in the inner-ear.


Despite our tendency to “crank it up,” “rock out” and in general, make music and noises louder around us, there are ways to protect our hearing to prevent early onset of deafness and/or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

The most obvious: turn it down.  At a party where you can control the volume, sometimes the music doesn’t need to be so loud.

Walk away.  Moving away from the speakers exponentially decreases the decibel level to which you are exposed.

Wear hearing protection.  Earplugs are a person’s best friend, and it is great to see more and more young people popping out the plugs at concerts, parties, on the train, at parties, and during band practice.  The daily sounds around musicians, for example, can be unsuspectingly dangerous, because it is the repetitious exposure to some loud sounds that causes damage over time.  Wearing ear plugs as a drummer, guitarist, member of a band, or just at a club or party, can save your hearing in the long-run.

Contact Gita Bhattacharya <gitabhattacharya@college.harvard.edu> to get involved with teaching.

About ESP 

The Educational Studies Program is taught in the fall on Harvard’s campus, and in the spring at MIT.  For more information about enrolling in ESP, please visit http://harvardesp.org/ and https://esp.mit.edu/

The spring 2014 curriculum is below:

ESP Spring 2014 Syllabus | HSSP_2.ppt | HSSP_4.ppt


Be the first to comment.

Leave a Reply