Middle School Cooking Camp : Boston Univ & Kitchen Chemistry
My students need food to cook as they learn science, math, and reading in the kitchen.
My hungry middle school students need to improve in literacy, math, word problems, and scientific knowledge. Cooking will help my students read a recipe, convert fractions, and understand how temperature makes food delicious or inedible. What interests a teenager more than food?
We live in a poor, rural, Southern community with white, black, and Latino students.
Our small middle school serves students from about 250 square miles, with kids living miles from town. 70% of my students qualify for free or reduced price lunches, and many students get their main meal at school. Our schools no longer teach home economics, and some students and parents have little knowledge about healthy food choices, cooking, or food budgeting. For over 10 years our school has had a relationship with Boston University. Each spring, a group of BU students volunteer for a week at my school, tutoring students and teaching special subjects. This year the college volunteers will be with us at the same time our school has spring vacation, giving us a great opportunity! We are offering "Boston University Cooking Camp" during spring break, so that our students can practice reading, math, and science concepts through hands-on work with the college students.
This project is chemistry in action. How does heat affect an egg? How much heat cooks it? How much heat makes it too tough to eat? Students will compare chemical reactions (spaghetti sauce) versus mixtures (sugared iced tea). We will observe changes in states of matter as food heats or cools. Each day the college volunteers will assist my students with reading and understanding a recipe, accurate measurement, and converting fractions as my students prepare their own lunch. We are budgeting for lunches made with fresh foods, so that our students learn to recognize and appreciate fresh foods. Students will set a table, eat with real dishes and utensils, and clean up each day. These are new experiences for some students. This project gives our students an extra week of learning, small group tutoring and instruction with the college students, and a daily meal during the spring vacation. We need food for them to cook.
This project allows our young men and women to develop independence and confidence.
The hands-on cooking experience will help them with manipulative skills and safety, in addition to improving their academic skills. Students will walk to the grocery store and learn to make effective shopping decisions, and we will promote exercise as part of a healthy life style. Your kind generosity in supporting this project provides new experiences for our great students. Thank you.
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