Skip to content

Training Simulation

Health, Technology, and Engineering Core

NCPC is home to a new Health, Technology, and Engineering Core that brings together undergraduate students from a broad range of disciplines including public health, psychology, cognitive science, biology, and engineering. As part of this new core, a Research and Development Lab, run by UC Merced lecturers Dr. Alexander Khislavsky and Dr. Meaghan Altman, aims to utilize and apply cutting-edge technology to help disseminate nicotine and tobacco information.

The students housed in this new core are able to create novel software programs to deliver tobacco-related health communication messages through online computer games. Studies have shown that computer simulation and custom made games are highly effective for not only training professionals, but for professionals to use as an effective tool to help communicate with their students/patients.

GOALS : Computerized Teaching Simulation Project

  • To facilitate classroom teacher’s professional development
  • To dynamically inform teachers about tobacco, vape, and cannabis industry influence on kids in schools
  • Spark new motivation / innovation / frame for teachers to create nicotine- & cannabis-use reduction curriculum for students

In a pilot project, students have created an “escape room” program, with clues that reveal previously secret tobacco-industry documents that relay a long history of marketing to minorities and other marginalized groups. To understand more about this amazing student led simulation, watch the video below, in which Dr. Alex Khislavsky demonstrates the concpet and working protoype.

The Health, Technology, and Engineering Core students will continue to adopt other software programs for future projects and aim to deliver effective health information to communities, that is more engaging and memorable.


Virtual Teaching Simulation Overview by Dr. Alex Khislavsky