This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection.
Trouble is, only a
few psychologists are involved in nutrition research. And Dr. Penland may be
the only one who does it full time.
So he developed a
bunch of computerized testslike computer gamesusing familiar
pictures that scientists can use anywhere in the world. Kids in China, for
example, recognize a piece of fruit or a stack of blocks just like kids in the
You're just itching to take some tests,
aren't you? (Click the moving eyes below)
Dr. Penland sends
the tests to researchers on the Internet. They send back the test data to him
in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He scores and analyzes the data and returns the
results to the study leaderagain, all across the Internet.
study took place in poor areas in China. For this, Dr. Penland joined with Dr.
Harold Sandstead at the University of Texas to study 1,400 Chinese school kids.
wanted to know if giving these undernourished kids adequate amounts of certain
minerals and vitamins would help them learn better and stay
China looks like this!
Imagine giving 1,400 kids these tests ON PAPER while a test
giver holds a stopwatch to measure each kid's answer speed. It would take
F-O-R-E-V-E-R! Some of the thousands of test papers would probably get lost or
spilled on. If the test giver were tired, he or she might forget to run the
stop watch or give the right instructions. The test results wouldn't be very
But that didn't
happen in China, because a computer gave the tests and recorded the
answerseven the answer speedthe same way every time.
The results showed
that the kids getting a little extrazinc
or zinc plus other minerals and vitamins could perceive, remember and reason
better than the kids who didn't. This is the kind of information governments
need to decide whether to provide supplements to needy kids.
McBride, Information Staff, Agricultural Research