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Immersive Environments for Nutrition Education

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
901 NE LOOP 410 STE 600 San Antonio, TX 78209-1306
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Immersive Environments for Nutrition Education
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2011-00181
Award Amount: $99,911.00


Diligent is responding to the USDA FY2011 Research Priority: "Developing and using interactive, information technology for nutrition educators and teachers to increase nutrition awareness and improve health and intervention strategies to address obesity among children." Diligent Consulting, Inc., a Service Disable Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), addresses this strategic goal of improving the Nation's health and nutrition by designing and developing an engaging, interactive, adaptive, effective instructional system. The initial immersive environment is a point solution aiming to improve adolescents' and young adults' health-related decision-making and physical activities. Diligent proposes a simple model (or framework) that follows the general dichotomy between food/nutrition instruction and physical activity. The model, however, addresses both cognitive components (i.e., knowledge, skills) and behavioral components (i.e., healthy decisions, physical activity) of each. For example, Diligent proposes using a virtual world to encourage learners to make informed decisions in scenario-based games, such as making a series of selections at a fast food restaurant (forced-choice decisions), shopping in a virtual grocery store (open-ended decisions), and scavenger (search and find) games. Diligent is targeting the middle/junior high school population based on the discussions with the nutritionists, physical trainers, and school district officials. Many of the nutrition education initiatives surveyed target the same audience age range (e.g., 10-14 year olds). The initial solution will be fielded in San Antonio and the South Texas region, an area with a high Hispanic population and an obesity problem. Upon refinement, the integrated nutrition education and physical activity learning environment could be distributed to traditionally underrepresented populations who have limited access to engaging, effective nutrition education.

Principal Investigator:

Kurt Steuck
Director, Learning Technologies

Business Contact:

Connie Hernandez
Contract Manager
Small Business Information at Submission:

901 NE LOOP 410 STE 600 San Antonio, TX 78209-1306

EIN/Tax ID: 743013087
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No