Professor Roger Tormoehlen has conducted, for the past 25 years, research on the educational effectiveness of various interactive electronic-based educational technologies (i.e. CD-ROM, Web, IP two-way video) as a methodology for teaching complex scientific content to youth in an informal educational setting. His most recent work has been on using IP two-way video as an educational methodology to educate 3rd- to 5th-graders in an informal educational setting in the area of electricity and electronics. Additional efforts have focused on using more traditional educational methodologies (paper-based curricula) to train youth and volunteer leaders (adults) in informal educational settings.
Since 1988 Dr. Tormoehlen has been associated with the 4-H program in Indiana where he is responsible for youth-based technology and engineering-related programming. Dr. Tormoehlen also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue.
In September 2003 Dr. Tormoehlen was appointed the department head for a new department at Purdue University that combines the expertise of informal education through the 4-H program with the expertise of formal education through the high school agricultural education program. The new department, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, contains 10 faculty, 10 non-faculty experts, 60 graduate students and 145 undergraduate students in the areas of youth development, agricultural education and agricultural communications.