H. Chad Lane is involved in numerous highly interdisciplinary efforts to address educational and behavioral challenges facing our country and the world. One effort in particular brings together teachers, behavioral scientists, master gardeners, technologists, and social workers to address pediatric obesity via engaging, educational technologies. The Virtual Sprouts project is a gardening-based intervention that builds on research showing that gardening is associated with improved learning of nutrition and dietary behavior change. Virtual Sprouts has produced a curriculum, teacher training materials, and touch-based video game built for children (ages 5 to 8) to learn the science of gardening and cooking. Pilot studies have shown that the Virtual Sprouts game leads to increased self-efficacy and motivation for consuming fruits and vegetables, which are important aspects of long-term behavior change. Dr. Lane is a Co-PI for Virtual Sprouts at the University of Southern California and continues to be involved with the project now that he has joined the Department of Educational Psychology at UIUC.
Prof. Lane’s project is funded as an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (http://nihsepa.org/)