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Adaptation of Inquiry-Based Learning Modules for Health Science Literacy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Contract: 2R44DP000622-02
Agency Tracking Number: DP000622
Amount: $380,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 003599862
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Creature Control: Food for Thought is a health science curriculum supplement and obesity prevention unit tailored to be effective with American Indian (AI) students. It considers the AI experience as its frame of refere
nce and much of the visual representation is inspired by American Indian culture. In Phase I, prototype games and a set of lesson plans were designed, developed and successfully field tested by a team of teachers, students, game designers, instructional de
signers and health science experts. Using a participatory approach, the specific objectives of Phase II include the design, development and evaluation of an obesity prevention intervention in the form of an interactive web based program with four main area
s: Science, Healthy Eating, Exercise and Family and Community. A curriculum will be developed as well as an expanded series of science modules using videogames as the centerpiece for learning while respecting the American Indian cultural and structural fra
mework. The performance and appearance of existing modules will be enhanced as well as the entrenching of a common artistic/emotional heart to deliver a visually seamless story from one videogame world to the next. The team will author teacher/facilitato
r support materials in the form of background information on videogames as educational tools, lesson plans, handouts, and assessments that aid users as they build science understandings and healthy lifestyle choices. The research goal is to research the ef
fectiveness of an inquiry-based curriculum using a culturally congruent, web-based video game as compared to the standard science and health curriculum. Specifically, the curriculum will address nutritional content related to how eating habits and other re
levant behaviors affect obesity in adolescents and teenagers. Concepts surrounding digestive system structure and function as well as the role of metabolism will frame the curriculum. The development team will travel and brainstorm with the American Indian
Tribe participants 8 times in the first year and 4 times in the second year of the project. This component is crucial in order to identify and address the felt needs of the American Indian communities and successfully weave an American Indian culturally r
elevant thread throughout the program. Phase I Food for Thought gamers/student testers were truly engaged in game-play and after the completion of the prototypical learning module, still expressed interest in playing the games. The Phase II design team wil
l capitalize on the interest factor and product versatility expanding the target market to home school environments and community based organizations such as Boys' and Girls Clubs and the special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Child
ren- better known as WIC. The discussion of product versatility naturally lends itself to commercial success. If a product proves to be versatile enough to warrant appeal in diverse markets, the product should produce measurable, genuine commercial success
. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Societal benefits of Creature Control include the intentional use of videogame technology for purposes of education. To date, few videogame developers have ventured into the educational gaming market because there is more money t
o make by creating games that strictly entertain. Many of these entertainment games boast challenging puzzles, intricate problems, and complex patterns to solve. Arguably, they are very educational. However, the content chosen rarely applies to middle and
high school science concepts. In fact, many videogames receive scrutiny due to their content. This work-Creature Control-promotes the idea that appropriate and complex science concepts can be married with videogame play to create a fun and educational lear
ning experience.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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