Food Safety Scientist Back »

Food -- a perfect medium to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Pick and choose from a curriculum that incorporates real life experience into virtual and hands-on labs, classroom discussion guides, presentations and videos. Not only do students learn a STEM concept, they increase their awareness of food and agriculture careers that are related to the safety of the food supply.

Educational Units

Begin the virtual labs by clicking on each of the graphics below. Each lab will open in a new window and may take some time to load depending on your internet connection. If using a computer, you will need to have Adobe Flash Player installed. Accessing the labs on some mobile devices or tablets may require a flash browser, such as Puffin Web Browser

Investigating a Food Toxin

“There’s mold in my food – is it safe to eat?” Virtually experience how farmers and food processors use science concepts to inspect corn for a mold that can produce a dangerous toxin.


The Good, Bad and Ugly

“Why do we pasteurize milk?” Virtually inspect a dairy processing facility and use hands-on labs to engage in microbiology concepts that are used by food and dairy scientists.



Manipulating the pH Level in Food

“Is food really an acid?” Virtually experience the research and development of Sensational Salsa.



South Dakota State University (SDSU) and New Mexico State University (NMSU) produced this project as part of a Higher Education Challenge Grant "Innovative STEM instruction techniques to increase the number and diversity of students in food safety related majors". SDSU served as the lead institution for the overall project developing the content and curriculum while  contracting with NMSU leading the digital creation of classroom media, animations and interactive educational technologies. North Dakota State University serves as the outside evaluator of the project. This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-38411-30625 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This project was supported in part by the USDA NIFA grant numbers 2008-38411-19055, NDSU serving as the lead instution contracting with SDSU and NMSU. Virtual Lab creative presentation © 2010 The NMSU Board of Regents. Note: NMSU grants South Dakota State University an irrevocable, royalty-free, non-transferable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, make derivative works, display and perform publicly any copyrights or copyrighted materials first developed and delivered under this Agreement.

Project PI – Dr. Joan Hegerfeld-Baker (former SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist)
Co-PI Dr. Sanjeev Anand

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