Students at Hopewell Middle School in Milton used science to help cook some delicious meals on Oct. 30 & 31. Whitney Beem and Ann Margaret Somers (8th grade science teachers) designed a unique science lesson that included cooking and their unit on matter.
The students were expected to create a dish that was both tasty and science filled. During the Top Chef judges round, the students all brought their dishes to school for their classmates, teachers, and community members to help judge their food. The students had to answer questions asked by the judges that related to their study of states of matter, changes of matter, and elements, compounds, and mixtures.
Besides the questioning and eating, students had to create a cookbook, which included their recipes, photo documentation of their culinary adventure, and a paper detailing all the science behind their dish, which supported the science standards.
"This project made me see that science is everywhere. It is now hard to walk into the kitchen and not see the ingredients as compounds and mixtures", says Emory Cecil, 8th grade student at Hopewell Middle School.
With the judging, several prominent community members volunteered their time and taste buds to support the students by being part of the Top Chef judges. Katie Van Brackle, the editor for Northside Women, said "Everyone knows teenagers are motivated by food, so the Top Chef competition was a clever hands-on science project. It was fun to sample and judge the culinary results of the students' creativity – everything from peppermint brownies to homemade corn chowder."
And also a special thanks for Whole Foods instructor Chef Shannon Marsh, Sothebys International Realty realtor Julie Martin, and Cambridge High School Media Specialist Tess MacMillan for encouraging the students to continue cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.