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Unlock the Power of Game-Based Learning with New Mexico State Learning Games Lab - Register Now for Our Exclusive Webinar

Research highlights the efficacy of game-based learning in educating youth. A team at New Mexico State University’s Learning Games Lab is applying that research, using their expertise in game-based learning to make food safety education exciting for the next generation of food handlers and enthusiasts.

Youth prepare food for themselves and their families and may have careers in the food industry. It’s important that they learn about safe food handling, cooking, storage, and when food is unsafe. Cue Theme Park Kitchen, an interactive online learning game designed to captivate and educate youth about food safety practices. Players can engage in different themed kitchens to serve delicious and safe meals to customers. It’s a redesign of “Ninja Kitchen,” launched in 2011 to teach kids food handling skills. The game’s designers focused on improving the game’s cultural sensitivity, working with youth to create a more inclusive reboot. The team’s work was supported by the New Technologies for Ag Extension program.

Sign up to attend an upcoming webinar where team members will share strategies about using gamification in education. It’s slated for Wednesday January 31st from 12-1 p.m. EST.  This exciting one-hour event will explore how gameplay fosters behavior change, and how the Learning Games Lab created Theme Park Kitchen using inclusive design for learning. Team members will share ways that educators and Extension professionals can use the game in formal and informal educational settings. Participants will also have an opportunity to test the game for their own use.

To learn more about the project, read this feature story about the team’s work. You can also take a deeper dive into the project’s specifics by reading a publication written about by the team: Teaching Youth Food Safety: A Game-Based Experience, available in the Extension Foundation’s library.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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