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.