The co-principal investigators and collaborators from the Kenan Institute, the 4-H team and the NCSU IntelliMedia Group (computer engineering), in collaboration with the 4-H field agents from around the state, carried out the curriculum development and dissemination phase of the project, Dr. Hassan points out. “These collaborators piloted the curriculum, including testing the Intellimedia software, and addressing issues encountered with development and implementation of the curricula during this process,” he says.
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The IntelliMedia Group developed, refined, and published the Crystal Island game-based learning environment and supporting websites for the project, Dr. Hassan continues. “The development effort has been focused on making the system easy to deploy by improving the distribution of the Crystal Island game through the project website, and management and monitoring of students through the Teacher Portal web application,” he explains. “The program has been evaluated by the national 4-H organization and we expect the program will be adopted and used nationally by 4-H clubs.”
The microbiology/food Safety curricula was modified for 4-H clubs’ activities. “The curricula were delivered and piloted in elementary and middle school enrichment programs and summer 4-H camp activities in some 16 North Carolina counties,” Dr. Hassan relates. “Clearly, we are very excited about and satisfied with the progress made and the learning outcomes. We are hopeful that these young minds will be the future food safety leaders and educators.”