Our first, 7-week long, theme of the year is “Food Science.” Like each first theme, it has as one of its functions to promote community building. This will be the focus of week 2, during which middle school students, in the morning, will prepare food-based experiments that they will present to the elementary school students in the afternoon. They will do so in small groups composed of 2 middle schoolers, 3 front-roomers and 3 back-roomers. During all the other weeks, front-roomers and back-roomers will work together in small multi-age groups.
Week 1 will be devoted to Nutrition, food groups and water; weeks 3 and 4 will be devoted to nutrients and calories, digestion, absorption, and plants; weeks 5 and 6 will be devoted to kitchen chemistry, cooking techniques, food preservation, and food safety; and week 7 will consist of reviews, self-assessments, and portfolio building.
The big ideas that will be the focus of the theme are:
- Food gives us energy.
- Food is broken down into nutrients through mechanical, enzymatic and chemical processes in the stomach and the small intestine.
- The resulting nutrient solution is absorbed mostly across the wall of the small intestine.
- Food can be grown.
- Cooking changes food chemical characteristics.
- Food can be harmful: it can cause allergies; it can decay.
- Food has color due to different pigments.
- Food is plenty but people go hungry.