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why should I use food and cooking to teach science?

Food is accessible, approachable, and universal.

Position Students as Resources of Knowledge

  • Promotes a funds of knowledge approach, which positions students (and their families) as resources of knowledge that can be built on and celebrated

  • Facilitates community-oriented learning because food plays a crucial role in almost all communities and cultures

  • Provides opportunities for students to share their culture and identities

  • Engages students to first explore scientific concepts using their everyday language, which can deepen understanding and proper use of scientific vocabulary

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Students making brown butter rice krispie treats & customizing them with their own "mix-ins"

Make Science Learning More Accessible, Approachable, & Relevant

  • Food is everywhere. Everyone- teachers, students, & families- bring their own experiences to the table.

  • Lab procedures that look similar to a recipe are less intimidating, more approachable and interesting

  • Lower-cost and more accessible materials and ingredients

  • Opportunities to weave in interdisciplinary learning and engage students based on a wide variety of experiences including eating, gardening, and media.

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Students analyzing gelling in popping boba

Encourage Meaningful Ways to "Do Science" & See What Science Can Be

  • Promote understanding of concepts while also building science practices and shaping student disposition about science

  • Open opportunities for student agency, expression, and voice

  • Transform phenomena from a passive to active experience- one where we use all of senses and have autonomy.

  • Students may have more inclination and agency in designing their own experiments because foods may be more familiar and interesting to them

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Students analyzing & preparing sourdough starters

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