Current Projects 

1. Advanced Cooking Education (ACE) Program

The Advanced Cooking Education (ACE) Program is a 4-H after school club that aims to improve diet quality, nutrition knowledge, and cooking skills of culturally diverse middle school students residing in urban communities. The Program will be pilot tested with 8th grade students in New York City during the 2019-2020 academic year. After school sessions will include healthy snacks, mindfulness-based exercises, and cooking labs where students will learn culinary science skills and prepare dinner meals for their family. Students will also engage in professional and career development activities.

This project is funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Smith-Lever Funds, Institute for the Social Sciences Small Grant Programs, and President’s Council of Cornell Women Affinito-Stewart Grant.

2. Nudging Youth to Make Healthier Snack Purchases in Urban Corner Stores

The purpose of this project is to examine whether New York City youth that shop at corner stores are interested in purchasing healthy grab and go snacks. We are specifically interested in pairing whole grain snacks with either a fresh fruit or vegetable, as well as increasing the consumption of healthy beverages. To learn more, click here to read Athena Wong’s blog about her experience on the project.

Community Partner: City Harvest 
This project is funded by Duke-UNC USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research



Past Projects

1. Unlocking the Potential of Science Knowledge with Hands-On Teaching in Food and Nutrition (UPSHOT)

The Leak Research Group collected survey data from caregivers that have at least one child attending PS11 in order to learn about the following: 1) personal and household sociodemographic information, 2) household health, food, and shopping practices, and 3) involvement in PS11 activities. The Leak Research Group also engaged with community organizations that offer nutrition education for youth in NYC.

Community Partner: PS 11 Purvis J Behan Elementary School (Brooklyn, NYC).
This community planning grant is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes for Health through Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center.