By Alex Tsai
On Dec. 1, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in a press release that Arkansas would be the first state in the nation to implement a Stanford-backed concussion education program in every high school.
The concussion awareness initiative –– known as CrashCourse –– was developed by Stanford researchers and student athletes to promote dialogue about head injuries and encourage the early reporting of concussion symptoms.
The program is the first virtual reality concussion education program and was developed by TeachAids, a nonprofit specializing in health education innovation that works in collaboration with Stanford.
The Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Activities Association partnered with TeachAids to implement CrashCourse statewide. Arkansas is already the first state to mandate virtual reality education in all public high schools.
“Arkansas is setting a precedent for the rest of the nation in providing cutting-edge VR education to its students,” Hutchinson said. “Through our unique partnership with TeachAids, this groundbreaking concussion education experience will empower young people to solve real-world problems in our increasingly technology-driven society.”
Founder and CEO of TeachAids Piya Sorcar praised Hutchinson for paving the way for more effective concussion education among youth.
“We are proud to partner with the state of Arkansas in this historic progression for concussion education,” Sorcar said, “and applaud Governor Hutchinson for his leadership in prioritizing unique learning opportunities for young people.”
Stanford football captain Bryce Love ’20, who helped develop the CrashCourse curriculum, said he was motivated to develop the program by a desire to educate younger athletes.
“[CrashCourse] is what we wish we had when we were younger,” Love wrote in an email to The Daily in October after CrashCourse first announced its partnership with Pop Warner, the country’s largest youth football organization. “There was nothing like it growing up for us.”
Contact Alex Tsai at aotsai ‘at’ stanford.edu.