Media Productions/Agricultural Communications

2017

Apr. 28

The Learning Games Lab is currently inviting two ages of youth, (grades 3-4 and grades 6-8) to join week-long summer "Think Tanks." Selected Game Lab consultants will play games, use multimedia tools in design sessions, and reflect on their daily experiences through blogging and video journaling. The Learning Games Lab, part of ACES' Media Productions, is a development studio, a user-testing research space, and an exploratory environment for playing and evaluating games and educational tools. The sessions develop media literacy and 21st century skills such as collaboration, design, and communication. Youth should complete the online application to be considered for participation in a session.

Over the past 30 years, ACES' Media Productions (also called Agricultural Communications) has earned a strong national reputation within the Land-Grant University system as a premiere producer of educational media for agricultural producers, Extension clientele, 4-H youth, college students studying agriculture, and consumers. Over the years, agricultural researchers and Extension specialists from more than 40 universities, agencies, and nonprofits have partnered with Media Production on projects funded by USDA-NIFA, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies to create digital tools for agriculture and natural resources management, agricultural sciences education, agricultural production technologies, food safety, and family and consumer sciences. Multi-state partnerships leverage the team's expertise in instructional design, development of digital tools, and user testing of agriculture-focused educational modules; as just one example of this national impact, food safety resources created by ACES' Media Productions have had 3.1 million uses since 2015. The team curates and distributes its decades of freely accessible resources to support Extension and 4-H outreach and the teaching of agricultural sciences: these including apps, interactive tools, YouTube videos, and web modules focusing on topics such as food safety (Produce Safety Matters, Don't Wash Your Chicken!), cooking and nutrition (Eat&Move-O-Matic, Ninja Kitchen), food science (Virtual Labs, Safe Preparation of Beef Jerky), consumer economics (Night of the Living Debt, PowerPay), horticulture (Southwest Plant Selector), soil science (Science of Soil, Understanding Western Soils), youth agricultural safety (Treadsylvania, Stay Safe Working With Horses), and animal science (4-H Livestock Record, Everything Is Chemical). Media Productions' mission is to help agricultural researchers enhance communications links with key stakeholders, such as Cooperative Extension staff, the food industry, agricultural policy makers, the diverse public, 4-H youth, and college students in agricultural fields.

Apr. 7

Lobster Diver, a math game created by the Learning Games Lab, has surpassed 1 million downloads on the Apple App Store. Targeted at middle school and elementary school, this STEM education app was produced by the NMSU Math Snacks team and with University of Maine Cooperative Extension. It has been used in schools, with 4-H clubs, and in other informal learning.

Mar. 17

Faculty from three NMSU colleges presented their collaborative research at the MidSchoolMath National conference in Santa Fe on March 3-4. Karin Wiburg of the College of Education, Ted Stanford of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Barbara Chamberlin of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences gave the talk, which discussed research showing Math Snacks games (developed at NMSU) build students' conceptual understanding of key concepts. The games, and a full description of the research, are available at MathSnacks.com.

Feb. 10

K-12 students played learning games developed at NMSU more than 3 million times in 2016, thanks to an ongoing collaboration between BrainPOP and NMSU’s Media Productions department. School districts around the nation use BrainPOP as a source of quality educational media for computer labs and classrooms. Products from NMSU Media Productions and its Learning Games Lab, such Math Snacks, the Virtual Labs, and Ninja Kitchen, appear on BrainPOP’s GameUp portal.

Jan. 13

During a pre-holiday sale December 20-23, NMSU Media Productions' math game Pearl Diver was downloaded more than 52,000 times. Designed for middle school and upper elementary, the game helps learners visualize quantities on the number line. It is part of the Math Snacks suite of games and animations, which together have received almost five million plays and downloads since their release in 2009. The games are developed and tested in ACES' Learning Games Lab with collaborators from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education and the Department of Mathematical Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

2016

Nov. 26

NMSU Media Productions has produced nearly one thousand videos viewable by the public at YouTube. Videos in the popular series Southwest Yard and Garden have had nearly eight million views over the last seven years. Videos in the Math Snacks series have been viewed nearly 750,000 times. Other popular topics on YouTube include agriculture, consumer and family sciences, environmental sciences, and math learning. Videos are hosted at YouTube channels NMSU ACES, Learning Games Lab and NMSU.

Oct. 29

Financial literacy game Night of the Living Debt has won :Best Overall Digital Game" at Meaningful Play 2016, an international conference. Produced by NMSU Media Productions' Learning Games Lab, with University of Idaho Extension, this free iPad game immerses high schoolers in a zombie world where they navigate credit, debts, and choices about housing, education and transportation. This 2016 game previously won Gold at the International Serious Play Awards and is a finalist in the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge. Available at the iOS App Store: http://apps.nmsu.edu/livingdebt.html.

Oct. 14

Media Productions’ Learning Games Lab has released a mobile version of its popular Virtual Labs series. Eight interactive modules explore laboratory techniques and concepts important in food science. Media Productions originally developed these multimedia tools in collaboration with South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University, with funding from USDA NIFA; web versions of the tools have been played more than 1 million times. Available for iPad at the Apple Store for $0.99-$1.99 each or $4.99 for the package. The eight modules:

Controlling Water Activity in Food, Understanding Water Activity, Testing and Adjusting pH, The pH Scale & Meter Calibration, Using the Microscope, Gram Staining, Bacteria Sampling, Testing for Corn Mold.

Oct. 7

ACES Media Productions hosted a national research meeting on food safety October 4-6, 2016, at its NMSU Learning Games Lab. This USDA NIFA multistate conference included food safety researchers and specialists from 25 land-grant universities who shared their latest research findings. The group works annually to explore opportunities for future collaborative grant funding proposals. Media Productions collaborated on several of the projects presented at the conference.

Sept. 23

Understanding Western Soils http://westernsoils.nmsu.edu is a new online resource for agricultural producers, Certified Crop Advisers, master gardeners, Extension agents, and other professionals who work in potentially saline, high-pH soils that require irrigation. Fifteen videos and animations demonstrate basic soil sampling strategies, appropriate laboratory tests for Western soils, and water movement into and through soil. The project was coordinated by Robert Flynn, extension agronomist in the Extension Plant Sciences Department and Professor April Ulery in Plant and Environmental Sciences, and was produced by NMSU Media Productions. Collaborators include the University of Arizona, Washington State University, and New Mexico NRCS. Funding was provided by a professional development grant from USDA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Extension Program (WSARE).

Aug. 27

NMSU Media Productions/Learning Games Lab faculty are currently serving on two USDA-NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAP), among the highest level of funding granted for research, education, Extension or integrated projects. Partnering with multiple institutions on these multi-million-dollar projects, NMSU designs and produces outreach and educational materials such as scientific visualizations, 3D models, interactive web tools, and animations as part of NoroCORE (Norovirus Collaborative for Outreach, Research, and Education) and CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence for Safe and Sustainable Water Reuse in Agriculture.

Aug. 20

Media Productions has been awarded $575.000 over 4 years as part of a $10 Million multi-state grant from USDA/NIFA to explore alternative water sources for agriculture. This project is especially important in the Southwest where groundwater supplies have dwindled to historical lows. ACES' Media Production team will develop innovative media to help farmers, policy makers, university students and even K-12 educators understand the how new water treatment and reuse technologies will allow farmers more access to contaminant-free water to safely irrigate their crops, especially vegetables and fruits.

May 14

The NMSU Learning Games Lab has released a new iPad app,Night of the Living Debt. In this financial literacy game, players survive the zombie outbreak by managing debts and using credit wisely. Excellent for group learning activities or in the classroom, the app was designed for high schoolers and was produced with support from the University of Idaho Extension, CoBANK, and Northwest Youth Financial Education. Available FREE at the iOS App Store: http://apps.nmsu.edu/nightoflivingdebt.html

April 9

As part of National eXtension Conference professional development activities, Barbara Chamberlin and Jeanne Gleason of NMSU Media Productions mentored innovative grant recipients in the i-Three Issue Corps, with members from 31 states and 33 institutions in the national Extension system. Serving as key consultants in technology for the i-Three "design-a-thon,"they helped grant recipients refine multimedia technology aspects of projects and experiments related to Food Systems and Climate Change.

2015

Dec. 19

Night of the Living Debt: NMSU Media Productions has been testing its new “Night of the Living Debt” financial literacy game with area high school students. Students visited the Learning Games Lab in Gerald Thomas Hall to play the game and give feedback November 11, December 10, and December 16, 2015. Anticipated release to the App Store is March 2016, and Media Productions personnel are enjoying seeing students learn about credit score, credit card debt, and other key financial concepts.

Dec. 5

Collaboration: NMSU’s Media Productions is collaborating with UNM Cancer Center to craft a decision aid for physicians that clarifies the risks and benefits of screening for lung cancer using Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT).LDCT scans are the most accurate screening method available for detecting lung cancer, but introduce significant risks. The interactive infographic, produced by NMSU Media Productions/Learning Games Lab, is designed to help care providers know when LDCT is right for patients, and how to communicate the risks. The tool is presently undergoing testing with physicians.

March 27

Students from DACC and from the gifted program at Hillrise Elementary School toured the NMSU Learning Games Lab and Media Productions studios last week to learn about game development, multimedia production, and careers. The Learning Games Lab is a testing and development space focused on producing research-based, grant-funded educational materials for a wide variety of audiences, often on topics involving natural resources, food safety, and STEM subjects.

March 13

Barbara Chamberlin, based on her research and the game development work at NMSU, has continued sharing the potential of game-based learning with national audiences. She spoke at iKids, a KidScreen event in Miami, FL, to developers of commercial apps for children, on the topic of user testing, based on her work in NMSU's Learning Games Lab. In March, she talked with researchers at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education and Utah State Extension Conference, discussing using innovative technologies to communicate university-based research.

Feb. 20

NMSU Media Productions/Learning Games Lab has produced an iPad tool for the University of Connecticut Department of Extension to assist in a study on childhood obesity prevention. The digital tool helps researchers gather and store data - and lets youth enter their own answers to questions - to assess impact and behavior changes related to community-based after-school programs. Customized for UConn's system, the tool improved research efficiency: administering the iPad-based survey takes only 10 to 15 minutes, whereas a paper-based version took 30 to 45 minutes. In addition, students who used the iPad platform were observed to be more curious, attentive, and cooperative during the process, as compared to paper-surveyed students.

Feb. 6

Aerostar BAerostar B: NMSU Media Productions has been working with the Physical Science Laboratory, UAS Flight Test Center, to document a launch of their largest unmanned aircraft - the Aerostar B. NASA officials from Edwards AFB observed the flight Thursday, January 29. The Aerostar B held a 65-lb. camera-gimbal unit with a wide range of maneuverability. Media Productions will be creating promotional video from this footage showcasing the capabilities of NMSU's UAS Flight Test Center.

Jan. 30

New Mexico State University Media Productions has released a new version of an app for 4-H, Eat-&-Move-O-Matic, an exploration of energy balance between the foods we eat and energy expenditures from various activities. With helpful tips about foods and activities popular with youth and how small changes can make a big difference, the app empowers users to make wise decisions. At the iOS Apple Store this January, the Eat-&-Move-O-Matic reached the rank of 79th among kids' apps for ages 9-11 and 153rd among education apps overall. More than 12,200 users have installed the update since it was released on Dec. 31st. A Spanish version will be released soon.

Lobster Diver, a math game produced by NMSU Media Productions/Learning Games Lab in conjunction with the NMSU College of Education and the University of Maine, was downloaded nearly 33,000 times this month, mostly by schools. The game helps learners in grades 3-8 understand relations between numbers, including negative numbers, fractions, and decimals, while diving for lobster among lighthouses and rocky shorelines. It can be downloaded free for iPhone or iPad at the Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lobster-diver/id416577542?mt=8

2014

Dec. 5

A food safety game produced by NMSU, Ninja Kitchen, has been accessed more than one million times since spring 2013 via the educational website GameUp (part of BrainPOP). Ninja Kitchen was collaboration between food safety scientists at Rutgers (The State University of New Jersey) and NMSU's Media Productions/Learning Games Lab. Set in a lunch counter staffed entirely by ninjas, the game addresses youth food-handling responsibilities and helps youth develop good habits about cooking and storing foods at the proper temperature and avoiding cross-contamination. A study by Rutgers researchers in 2011 demonstrated that the game is effective in improving food safety knowledge, attitudes and intentions among middle schoolers. BrainPOP distributes a number of NMSU learning products and is a popular choice with schools and districts for providing students quality educational games and multimedia.

Nov. 14

Media Production's Math Snacks learning tools will be offered as part of education programs for juvenile and adult prisoners in jail, prison, and probation facilities through public benefits corporation American Prison Data Systems (APDS), which brings ruggedized tablets to prisons to support online education, job training, rehabilitation services, and family communications. APDS, with a dual financial and social mission to make corrections safer and cheaper and to reduce recidivism, will include Math Snacks animations and learning materials on its private network that allows prisoners to access educational content without connecting to the internet.

Nov. 7

4-H agents from across the nation gathered for their annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. Media Productions played a key role in helping 4-H leaders make plans for using technology with youth. NMSU's Barbara Chamberlin spoke with the group, sharing apps and games created by her department and helping them develop a framework for introducing youth to digital tools.

Oct. 31

NMSU Media Productions and Learning Games Lab is partnering with researchers from across the country on communicating research and findings related to norovirus, commonly referred to as the Cruise Ship Virus. Representing NMSU at the NoroCORE Conference in Dallas, is Seth Powers, one of the animators from the team who has been working with national researchers to develop 3-D models of the virus and short animations that communicate norovirus risk.

Oct. 24

NMSU's Media Productions and Learning Games Lab is participating in a research study with GlassLab in California. The group was chosen as a beta partner with four other game developers through a competitive process with GlassLabs. Game Over Gopher, a recently developed math game through a collaboration with the College of Education, will be one of the NMSU games included in initial research efforts. GlassLabs will use telemetry data to track keystrokes when learners use the games, so they can evaluate more precisely what learning is occurring and how. For more information, go to: Click here.

Oct. 10

More than 2,000 new users have downloaded Media Production's 4-H Livestock Record app in the past week, thanks to a Facebook post by National 4-H. The 4-H Livestock Record reached an impressive rank of 65th among Productivity apps in the Apple Store Oct. 1. A total of 3,624 users have downloaded the app since its release in late July, an average of around 50 users per day. The app helps users monitor animal weight, feed, health, income, expenses and assets on their iPhones or iPads.

Oct. 3

ACES faculty spoke with key leaders from universities in the Western U.S. about ways to increase technology use in the Extension Service. Because of their multi-state work on developing apps, videos, games and websites, Drs. Jeanne Gleason and Barbara Chamberlin proposed regional collaboration as they drew on lessons learned. The topic of the summit was to celebrate the Smith-Lever Act 100th anniversary and to focus on learning innovations to help create a 21st Century Extension System. Dr. Jon Boren (Director of NMSU Extension), Bruce Hinrichs (Eastern District Director), Dr. Esther Devall (Department Head of Family and Consumer Sciences) and Rick Richardson (Interim Department Head of 4-H Youth Development) represented NMSU at the Summit, which was streamed live via the Web so other Extension employees could participate.

Sept. 26

Learning Games Lab is expanding NMSU's statewide mobile technology outreach. They equipped Extension agents at the Albuquerque State Fair with specialized iPad systems to help judge and track state fair animals. Media Productions also created a new mobile app, called Livestock Record, to help 4-H'ers monitor animal weight, feed, health, income, expenses and assets on their iPhones or iPads. The National 4-H Council is now promoting NMSU's new app to 4-H'ers across the nation.

Sept. 19

The Wall Street Journal listed the NMSU Math Snacks game Monster School Bus among games "that can help offset linguistic disadvantages for small children" and positively impact their early math education. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with the well-known educational portal BrainPop, some big names in media are beginning to take note of games and animations produced by Media Productions and Learning Games Lab.

Sept. 12

Dr. Jeanne Gleason initiated work with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to help modernize their educational outreach programs. In conjunction with Oregon State University, she co-led several USDA study tours and co-taught four workshops on how to integrate distance education technologies into their emerging Extension system, similar to America's Cooperative Extension Service. Last week Drs. Jeanne Gleason and Barbara Chamberlin added to this long-term work at the 2014 International Conference on China-US Open and Distance Education in Beijing, China, co-hosted by The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and The American Distance Education Consortium. Gleason's and Chamberlin's presentation, "The Power of Games to Enhance Learning in Distance Education," covered how to use three types of learning games effectively in distance education. They also shared design strategies for developing interactive modules and games that can facilitate learning, often more efficiently than traditional instructional methods.

Aug. 22

NMSU Media Productions has created an app to help 4-Hers better organize their market livestock project on their iPhones or iPads. With 4-H Livestock Record, users can create profiles (with photos) for livestock project animals and can track participation in events, meetings, shows and contests. They can also record and monitor animal weight, feed and health information, monitor project income, expenses and assets, and generate financial statements. These reports can be exported for further analysis in spreadsheets and graphs. The app is freely available from iTunes Click here.

Dr. April Ulery, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Laura White, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, and Drs. Barbara Chamberlin and Jeanne Gleason, Media Productions, were recently funded for their USDA Hispanic-Serving grant, "Raising the Gates: Addressing Gaps in Students' Understanding of Math and Chemistry in the Animal and Plant Sciences". The purpose of this project is to improve students' understanding of chemistry and math content in an agricultural context using interactive learning tools and animations. For their current project, "Retaining Students and Supporting Instruction in Science-Intensive Undergraduate Programs through Innovative Media," they created a variety of learning tools to help students understand prerequisite math and science concepts needed in soil, plant and environmental science classes, expose them to USDA careers, and build confidence in their abilities. Although both projects focus on supporting student mastery of math concepts underlying agricultural science, the new project focuses specifically on chemistry-related topics.

Aug. 8

A chapter in a newly published book features an instructional design model developed at Media Production's Learning Games Lab. The chapter, "Bridging Research and Game Development: A Learning Games Design Model for Multi-Game Projects," was authored by Barbara Chamberlin with co-authors Jesus Trespalacios (Boise State University), and Rachel Gallagher (NMSU Media Productions) and was published in Educational Technology Use and Design for Improved Learning Opportunities (2014). The model, developed and refined over more than 20 years of game development in the department, was used most recently to create several highly successful math games during a four-year development cycle of the NSF-funded Math Snacks project.

Aug. 1

A game produced at NMSU has been named "Best of Show" at the recent International Serious Play Conference. "Gate" was developed by Media Productions' Learning Games Lab, with partners in the College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences. As part of the Math Snacks suite of materials, "Gate" was designed to help students feel more confident in their math learning. The game guides students in lowering intimidation about large numbers and decimals, understanding the meaning of place value and realizing that the same mathematical concepts that apply to the "easy" integers apply to every order of magnitude. The game, along with other games, animations, videos and teaching tools, is available in English and Spanish at click here.

July 25

Dr. Barbara Chamberlin recently presented a live webinar to more than 230 educators. Her recorded presentation "OK to Play: How Tablets, Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices Can Be an Important Part of a Child's Development" was presented through AWE Digital Learning Solutions (awelearning.com). Her presentation is designed to help educators and parents understand how to set their own guidelines for student/leaner technology use, giving specific examples of how these tools can be beneficial. The presentation also prompts discussion of where parents and educators should show caution, and help them be better informed about what is "OK to Play". It was an interactive webinar with live questions from audience members all over the world, including Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Greece, France, Australia, Romania, and India. Many more will watch the recording in the archives. The live recording can be seen at: Click here

July 11

Jeanne Gleason received the "Award of Excellence for Instructional Design" at the 2014 Annual meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence in Portland, June 24-27. The citation recognized Dr. Gleason for "building a nationally recognized production studio for creative videos, multimedia, distance outreach and educational game production...She is active in international work, most recently in the Middle East and China. Her documentaries have been featured at the Smithsonian Institution and carried on PBS Stations in the USA, the Australian Broadcasting Company and the Israeli Discovery Channel." The citation also noted that Dr. Gleason has received USDA's Diversity Award for her instructional design of educational media for non-English speaking audiences.

June 27

The Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) presented 6 Gold Awards to NMSU's Media Productions/Ag Communication for their educational media and learning games at the professional association's upcoming International Conference in Portland. In addition, the ACES team claimed 20% of the association's "best of class," called the Professional Skill Awards, which compares gold award winners in each category to select the most outstanding for each media type.

June 13

Media Productions/Ag Communications has just released a mobile app that helps consumers manage and pay their debt more efficiently, saving time and money. PowerPay was developed in conjunction with Utah State University's Extension, based on their popular PowerPay program. It is available on the NMSU App Store, apps.nmsu.edu or Click here.

May 30

Media Productions: This week, The Learning Games Team in Media Productions hosted experts from University of Idaho for a joint Design Summit to design new financial literacy games targeting youth and their parents. U of I's faculty Lyle Hansen and Luke Erickson have years of experience conducting face-to-face workshops on youth financial literacy, but now want to expand their outreach through online and mobile games. They have grant funding to support this collaborative work with NMSU's Media Productions.

May 23

Media Productions: Last week Drs. Jeanne Gleason and Barbara Chamberlin delivered an "invited presentation" to the EdFuture 2014: Global Collaboration for Online Higher Education Conference, sponsored by the American Distance Education Consortium ADEC. NMSU's Media Production's presentation, The Power of Games to Enhance Learning and Transcend Barriers, was based on the professors' decades of experience creating learning tools in collaboration with more than 30 universities. After establishing that learning involves both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and that it is a process, not an end result, the presentation demonstrated Media Productions' latest games, interactive programs, and mobile apps. Drs. Gleason and Chamberlin shared design strategies for developing interactive learning modules and games that, when carefully crafted, can facilitate learning more efficiently than other types of instruction.

April 25

Media Productions: NMSU media used in Northern Ireland national campaign - The Northern Ireland Food Standards Agency has announced that animations and educational media produced by Media Production's will be the central focus of their National Food Safety Week, June 16-22, 2014. In September, NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Doctors, ABC's The Chew, FOX network news, NPR's The Salt, Slate online magazine, and more than 500 regional TV stations and newspapers also featured Media Productions' "Don't Wash Your Chicken!" Media Productions produced video, fotonovelas and animations with grant funding from USDA in conjunction with Drexel University.

April 11

The Learning Games Lab has announced dates for its popular Summer Sessions on its Learning Games Lab website. Based on current research needs, the NMSU Learning Games Lab will be offering two private sessions this summer: one for expert consultants who have attended our sessions in the past, and a one week session for members currently enrolled in 4-H. This last session is an expansion of current work with 4-H youth and technology integration. This is the 9th summer that the Lab has hosted sessions for youth at the NMSU Learning Games Lab in Gerald Thomas Hall. Applications and consent forms for our sessions can be found at Click here.

April 11

The ACES Media Productions team has collaborated with the Business College to create a video presentation honoring NMSU alum and 2014 Hall of Fame recipient, Greg Maxwell. Maxwell is the executive vice president, finance and chief financial officer for Phillips 66. He earned a bachelor of accountancy from NMSU in 1978. The video featuring Maxwell will be shown at the Hall of Fame celebration Friday, April 25th.

April 4

This week FOX-TV aired a news story about Media Productions' work on a national, multi-institution grant research project on norovirus. http://mms.tveyes.com/PlaybackPortal.aspx?SavedEditID=b95f042e-9471-4934-8cfa-52ca20089307 Media Productions works on this USDA-funded grant with 13 major research universities, 4 federal agencies, 2 medical research facilities and industry leaders from the food, cruise ship, produce and shellfish industries (http://norocore.ncsu.edu/).

March 21

Media Productions/Ag Communications and the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences collaborated to submit two grant proposals to USDA's Hispanic Serving Institutions Program to enhance recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in STEM majors. Drs. Chamberlin and Gleason cooperated with Dr. April Ulery on a grant entitled Raising The Gates: Addressing Gaps in Students' Understanding of Math and Chemistry in the Animal and Plant Sciences, and with Dr. David Dubois on a grant entitled Enhancing Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students in Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Sciences via Mobile Devices.

March 14

Media Productions/Ag Communications has received an invitation from USDA to join a multi-state team competing for a $5 million grant. NMSU's Media Productions' faculty, Drs. Jeanne Gleason and Barbara Chamberlin, are Co-PIs on the grant, providing innovative media, which could include web, mobile apps, video and interactive tools. The USDA team for first round of reviews said the proposal, Enhancing Food Safety through Improved Processing Technologies, would meet a big need in the food production industry. The multi-state research team will be headed by Dr. G Kaletun of the Ohio State University. Dr. Kaletun's team is proposing to develop a microbiological sensor to detect the presence of bacteria, which could significantly improve scientists' ability to track the growth of microbes and the efficacy of sanitization techniques

March 7

The largest web presence in the NMSU system belongs to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science, managed by Media Productions/Ag Communications (http://aces.nmsu.edu/ ). Last week, it was successfully migrated to a new, more secure server and the transition was completed to NMSU's new branded web templates, complete with the slogan "All About Discovery!" The web site is popular with users from across the state because it provides practical resources from the Cooperative Extension Service and 4-H and Youth Development, as well as research findings from the Agricultural Experiment Station. Web resources for prospective and current students have also been upgraded.

Feb. 28

Media Productions/Ag Communications hosted an Ohio State University team of Extension specialists and administrators who requested training and exploration of a New Mexico State University-Ohio State University partnership. ACES team focuses largely on production, the OSU team focuses on training. Ag Communications is exploring ways to jointly pursue grants for the Learning Games Lab to create media and mobile applications to support Extension work in 4-H, agriculture and consumer sciences in Ohio -while also reaching national audiences.

Feb. 14

An international team of food safety researchers has asked Media Productions/Agricultural Communications team to help them respond to recent events with new educational media. With less than a 5 day turn-around time, NMSU's graphic artists have worked with the researchers to translate their research base into a beautiful infographic in response to a recent outbreak of Campylobacter. The acclaimed "BarfBlog" site features NMSU's infographic at Click here. The team is continuing work on an animated version, footage for news organizations to use, and appropriate images for sharing through other social media. This is the first in an ongoing relationship, with anticipated infographic stills and animations produced monthly. Dr. Ben Chapman, Extension Food Safety Specialist at North Carolina State University said "After looking at our own lack of skill and capabilities, we sought an outside partnership with New Mexico State University Media Productions. They get us; and do fabulous work."

Feb. 7

Agricultural Communications/Media Production has collaborated with a team from the colleges of Education and Arts and Science on a NSF-funded project, Math Snacks, to create an educational game called Gate. This game, freely available on the web, has been used effectively with students in the 2nd - 7th grades to help them understand place value (ones, tens, hundreds), "chunking" of numbers, fractions and decimals. Gate has been distributed through various educational portals, including the teacher site Edmodo.com, Merlot (the California State Multimedia Resource for Online Education and Teaching), game repositories like PlayfulEdu and ClarkChart.

Jan. 24

Agricultural Communications has created an economical flyer county offices can use to share a short history of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service during this 100th national anniversary celebration of Extension. The Birth of the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service is a 12 page document with lots of historical photos, including homemakers using a pressure canner over a camp fire and NMSU's early Farmers' and Homemakers' Weeks where participants actually slept in tents instead of dorm rooms. The beginning of 4-H in New Mexico is also documented, as is the first Extension outreach program conducted from a flatbed railroad cars because there were so few roads in between towns in the state. The document also reproduces sections of the first annual report stating that Extension "now finds itself housed in four very comfortable office rooms, equipped according to their needs with desks, chairs, vertical files....but very little in the way of illustrative material, such as lantern slides, moving pictures, charts, etc. However, some material has been acquired and is being used to very good advantage; especially is this true of the stereopticon outfits and charts."

Jan. 17

The faculty unit of Agricultural Communications/Media Productions submitted a $300,000 grant proposal to the National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM learning in conjunction with faculty from the College of Education. The proposal, exploring the Impact of Informal Gameplay on Math Preparedness in Students Entering Sixth Grade, would research the impact that math learning games have on kids who use them outside of the classroom.