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Team develops virtual reality game to teach children healthy habits

A Nebraska team led by Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created a virtual reality game that teaches kindergarten children about nutrition and physical activity.
A Nebraska team led by Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created a virtual reality game that teaches kindergarten children about nutrition and physical activity.

Trees line the horizon under a bright, cloudless sky. It’s a typical outdoor scene — except for the giant pineapple soaring overhead.

Kindergarteners playing the virtual reality game must make a decision: What is the name of the fruit they see?

Changmin Yan with Google Cardboard glasses
Changmin Yan holds Google Cardboard glasses.

With $15 Google Cardboard glasses and an interdisciplinary research team, Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created an immersive experience to encourage healthy habits for young children in rural communities — particularly those from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Full Article

Study examines strategies to enhance preschool science instruction

Soo-Young Hong
Soo-Young Hong

A preschooler sends a toy car whizzing across a track and down a ramp. With a teacher’s guidance, this four-year-old can also learn about force and motion: the science behind her play.

Soo-Young Hong, associate professor of child, youth and family studies, is exploring how a professional development program could help preschool teachers integrate science into their daily classroom activities. Full Article

Video available for Martin’s methodology presentation

Meredith Martin presents at the April 14 Methodology Applications Series.
Meredith Martin presents at the April 14 Methodology Applications Series. View presentation.

Meredith Martin, assistant professor of educational psychology, led the first presentation in the 2017 Methodology Applications Series on Friday, April 14. The series is sponsored by the Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics.  Full Article

$1.1M grant to launch UNL concussion management program

Scott Napolitano

With concussion awareness at an all-time high, school personnel are increasingly responsible for supporting students’ recovery.

Scott Napolitano, assistant professor of practice in educational psychology, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant to develop evidence-based training that will help schools diagnose and manage cases of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury in students. Full Article

Study reveals benefits of UNL robotics program

Gwen Nugent and Brad Barker. View photo gallery.

Robots are inspiring the middle school students who may one day engineer them, while also benefitting those who pursue other career paths, according to a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study.

Led by CYFS faculty affiliate Brad Barker and Gwen Nugent, CYFS research professor, the study examined findings from a student robotics project developed at UNL and implemented across the country—including one site in Cuba. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project delivered robotics and geospatial mapping curriculum to after-school clubs and summer camps. The curriculum also supported youth robotics competitions. Full Article

Williams leads massage therapy study in rehabilitation hospital

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Paul Springer, Judy Burnfield and Natalie Williams at the Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., where they are researching the impact of massage therapy for parents whose children are in rehabilitation.

When Alexis Verzal first arrived at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., her future held many more questions than answers. While her parents Tiffany and Brandon Verzal grappled with these unknowns, this much they knew: Their world had been turned upside down. Full Article

Niehaus earns grants to study student engagement

Elizabeth Niehaus
Elizabeth Niehaus

Elizabeth Niehaus, assistant professor in educational administration, has been awarded two grants to study Caribbean student engagement in higher education. The American College Personnel Association Foundation awarded a $2,500 grant and the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators In Higher Education) Foundation awarded $4,650—both projects are housed in CYFS. Full Article