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Cooking and STEM Classes Teach Skills to the Next Generation

BY MELANIE BUCK –

In the month of July, 4H & FCS Agent Lauren Frost kept a dozen participants busy with cooking classes and also STEM classes. For three weeks in July on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 students between the ages of 8 to 15 learned everything from kitchen safety, food safety, how to read labels, how to shop, and sourcing local ingredients.

In addition to Frost, there were three 4H teen counselors that assisted the students. “I think they enjoyed going to the Farmer’s Market and making pizza with the fresth ingredients the best,” said Frost. The students shopped at the Farmer’s Market one morning where they purchased items like fresh tomatoes, which were used to make a homemade pizza sauce. Other vegetables were purchased to make toppings and they even made from-scratch pizza dough.

cooking-web“We also had an egg day where a local farmer donated eggs and we cooked with eggs and played games with them,” Frost explained. “Most of the students could scramble eggs but they wanted to know how to make omelets,” said Frost.

She also explained that they had a junior ‘Chopped’ style cook-off. “On the last day it was a lot of fun. We had crazy ingredients like chicken, pork rinds, and instant coffee.” The students had to use those three ingredients, and had their pick of pantry items. One team made a stir-fry, another made a BBQ style chicken sandwich, and the third team created chicken nuggets, using cereal and pork rinds for the crust and the coffee as seasoning. Frost said the entrees were “delicious.”

“They all enjoyed the class and learned a lot. One parent said they were putting away things from their garden and someone wasn’t using the knife the way they were taught and she told them so. She was really listening and paying attention,” smiled Frost of the student that not only took her knowledge home, but implemented it.

Three days of STEM classes were held as well. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Ten students participated in the class where they explored

all things science and tech. “They learned how to make marshmallow guns, paper clip box cars, and 3D drawing,” explained Frost.

She said they had a contest with the marshmallow guns on whose could shoot the furthest. “Everything down to the snack was science related. I gave them bakery bread, water, and a jar with heavy cream and said here’s your snack, solve this problem. How can we make something to eat with this? So, we made butter and we had jelly and marinara sauce and it made it a lot of fun,” said Frost.

They also had fun with 3D printing and 3D drawing and made glasses with 3D drawing pens. Students built Lego robotics and used iPads to make them move and programmed them to do different things. “That was a lot of fun.”

Frost said they would love to continue the classes in the future and are considering having project clubs that would focus on things like cooking or robotics.

For more information on anything 4H related, contact Lauren Frost at the Extension Office, 394-6018.

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