About Curriculum

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Our curriculum aims to fill gaps in science knowledge and enhance scientific concepts that students are learning in the classroom, while also providing a platform for building culinary skills and healthy eating behaviors.

The lesson plans are formatted to be a guide for a teacher to instruct the lesson. They include information for teachers about the context of the experiment, the relevant standards and misconceptions, and also suggestions for discussions, demonstrations, and other activities in addition to a core recipe. Each of these lesson plans address select Next Generation Science Standards and the Minnesota K-12 Science Standards (the main curriculum development branch is in Minnesota). Our lessons were initially developed for middle school students and thus address their science standards and concepts; however, the lessons are comprehensive enough that they can be adapted for elementary school and high school as well. Similarly, even though these lessons can be taught as a comprehensive set, an instructor could choose to do just one of them to address a specific concept or culinary skill.

The culinary aspect is at the center of each lesson. Our goal is to show students that there is science taking place in every culinary endeavor, rather than simply using food as a medium to conduct scientific experiments. They include a complete recipe for students to carry out, in addition to experiments, which encourage students to explore the scientific content of the recipes more deeply. Also, they each have shopping and equipment lists with scaled amounts for the number of students provided. These are presented in a flexible but coherent way, to facilitate instructors choosing the content that best matches their course objectives. For these lesson plans, we envision each student having their own lab notebook. Each lesson plan also includes prompts for students to write in these lab notebooks.

The lessons do not require trained chefs to be implemented. Each lesson has been rigorously tested with multiple groups students and with different groups of instructors. Lessons have been tested with students with no cooking experience and with students who have high culinary expertise, and were successful with both. This is because the lesson plans situate the scientific concepts that the students are learning in the familiar medium of food, prove that science is a very approachable subject and give students an opportunity to see the concepts they learn in school manifested in the everyday medium of food.

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