Computational Thinking and Supercomputing!!

I have been learning about computers and technology for about 30 years or more. NASA, National Geographic, NEA, NSTA and the National Center for SuperComputing. Conferences, workshops, and meetings. It is a moving target. This blog is inspired by ex-students and CIrcl.

There is always more to learn, share and explore. Here is what might be of interest to you.

Here is some of the future of learning in a connected world.

Is your local school up to the challenge?Are you providing the real professional development for teachers?

SuperComputing and Computational Thinking (What do you know about it?)

In education, computational thinking (CT) is a set of problem-solving methods that involve expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could execute..

Sounds and looks complicated? It is not. Digital Promise simplifies it like this.

But how do “code,” “computer science,” and, “computational thinking,” fit together? What is motivating their introduction into schools, and how might they change education?( read this report)

Digital Promise Our new report, Computational Thinking for a Computational World, draws from research and interviews with leaders around the country to answer the essential question: 

In a computational world, what is important to know and know how to do? Please download and read the report and share it.

Digital Promise says:

What is computational thinking?

Computational thinking skills are versatile approaches to problem solving that include:

  • Gathering and organizing data to investigate questions and communicate findings
  • Expressing procedures as algorithms (that is, a series of logical, precise, repeatable steps that delivers an expected result) to reliably create and analyze processes
  • Creating computational models that use data and algorithms to simulate complex systems
  • Using and comparing computational models to develop new insights about a subject

We see these practices of computational thinking ,benefitting cutting-edge research and everyday life.

For example, when a hurricane is approaching, a meteorologist on TV may use a computational model to demonstrate the various paths that the storm may take as any number of interdependent variables change.

An astrophysicist may similarly use computational thinking practices to develop simulations and new theories about the collisions of black holes.

Digital Promise shows us great images to understand the methodology.

There are great online resources, that are free that demonstrate how these skills are used.

The Science of Where

The Science of Where – Unlock Data’s Full Potential

https://www.esri.com/en-us/about/about-esri/overview

Will.i.am Sparks Mapping with GIS in L.A. Magnet Academy

What is Science On a Sphere®?

Science On a Sphere® (SOS) displays global data the way it should be viewed – on a sphere! It is a room sized, global display system that uses custom software, computers, and video projectors to display planetary visualizations (and much more!) onto a large sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe.

https://sos.noaa.gov/what-is-sos/what-is-science-on-a-sphere/

NOAA has an app !!

https://sos.noaa.gov/sos-explorer/download-sos-explorer-mobile/

Computational tools for high school STEM

https://ct-stem.northwestern.edu

In education, the acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education, then, is the learning of these STEMsubjects through an integrated approach; one that offers hands-on and relevant learning experiences.

Students and robots intermingle at the Hirshhorn ARTLAB+

ArtLab is giving young people opportunities to explore science, technology, and art with help from innovative artificial intelligence (AI) robots.

Sometimes , the beginning of this learning path is coding!!!

We can find many ways to lean to do coding. Code.org has programs in many languages.

https://code.org

But don’t just do two weeks of coding. It’s something you can continue to learn and do projects in.


If you’re just getting started on your coding journey, here are ten tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.

Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com
  1. Grab Some Free Programming Books.
  2. Take a Coding Course. … 
  3. Use Free Online Training Sites. … 
  4. Try a Kids App. … 
  5. Start Small (and Be Patient) … 
  6. Choose the Right Language. … 
  7. Figure Out Why You Want to Learn to Code. …

Stay tuned for part two.

Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra. Code.org provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States and Code.org also organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 15% of all students in the world. Code.org is supported by generous donors including Amazon, Facebook, Google, the Infosys Foundation, Microsoft, and many more.

The Field Trip to SERC in Summer!

Do you know about this part of the Smithsonian? SERC ? You should!! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is near Annapolis, Maryland.

We had a great field trip with kids from the neighborhood of James Creek Southwest DC that was funded by the SWNA Youth Activities Task Force. I can still hear them asking as we left the center , “Can we come back again?”

Please…please!!”

They had an all day learning adventure!! Leaving ,they had homework.

Students were clutching the cooked crab I had prepared for their at home” Eat-a-Crab” sharing with family. Some homework!!

But let me explain the day!!

I prepared in the usual way with paper resources ,pencils,and maps and folders. I am a STEM advocate but I did not know what the children knew of water study.

I love the inquiry approach to learning and TPack. I was taking an online course from the National Geographic and this was a part of my “Capstone” lesson. My teaching skills and ideas are supported and enhanced by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center program. No teacher’s closet ,or even the Internet can match the vast resources in this learning space. So well thought out and planned.

The kids piled into the van. We were going to learn about the Chesapeake Bay!

We had our water bottles and lunch! Why water bottles? Here’s a fun way to learn about getting ready for the trip. Getting ready for a SERC outdoor trip?

We live in Washington, D.C. The Potomac and the Anacostia are two rivers that are a part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed!! We were going to learn about rivers to the sea!!Estuaries. You may want to check the video there.

The staff met us and engaged us as Otters and Eagles in groups.The learning was on from the first moment. My group went to learn about oysters and the oyster reef.

img_5938

Shoreline Connections

This program can be adapted for a range of ages. It focused on science as narrative, and a collection of facts, procedures, and observations that lead to understanding the world. The guiding question of the trip was, “How do scientists tell the story of clean water, and how do people fit into that story.” We focused on science as fact based, though hands-on inquiry at each station.
.

Oysters and Model Oyster Reef Sorting

Students began by exploring the different types of bivalves that live in the Bay, and then learn about how oysters live together and their biological function. They attempted to build a model oyster reef to determine its habitat structure and then sort through a model reef that has been colonized by fish and invertebrates from the Bay. They then sorted the organisms and learn about the role that oysters play in clean water and Bay habitat. pictures here ( a video)I had never done this lesson on the pier.

Seining


Students began by discussing how researchers might study nearshore organisms, and learn how SERC researchers use seining nets to catch fish and invertebrates. They learned the term “biodiversity” and how biodiversity might be an indicator of water’s health. They then collected data by donning waders and use seining nets to sample the populations. Students had a short discussion about their findings and what they might mean. They loved this lesson.


Blue Crabs
At this station students were introduced to the anatomy and biology of blue crabs. First, they were asked to draw a blue crab. Then they learned in various stations.

They learned about the natural history of a crabs life, from what they eat to when and where they migrate. Students then visited with live blue crabs and studied their anatomy and movement up close.

Need more?Inquiry-based science is sometimes conflated with “hands-on” science. While we know that actively engaging children with “hands-on” science is important, it isn’t enough. Inquiry-based science employs the diverse practices scientists use to study the natural world. A well-designed, inquiry-based curriculum is appropriate for all ages of learners and effectively teaches science content while developing scientific habits of mind at the same time.

SERC Science Saturdays

Join SERC for explorations of research with our Science Saturdays.Bring the family for a day of hands-on activities alongside Smithsonian scientists! 

https://serc.si.edu/visit-us/serc-science-saturdays

Saturday, June 22, 2019 10am-1pm
Learn about marine biodiversity with marine biologists. 

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 10am-1pm
Discover how the atmosphere interacts with the land and water. 

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 10am-1pm
Learn about microbes that are invisible to the naked eye and how DNA is uncovering some of the Bay’s greatest secrets. 

Cost: FREE and open to all
Location: SERC campus. We’ll show you where to park when you get here. Directions can be found on our website.
Bring: No food will be available for purchase, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch or snacks.

We hope to see you all there!

If you have any questions please contact Karen McDonald at mcdonaldk@si.edu or (443) 482-2216. 

Reaching Community, Teaching Adults and Seniors

by Victor Sutton

In a look back many of us have discovered that a whole generation of people have been excluded from a personal use of technology. Everyone was not born digital or included in learning how to use technology for personal use.
IMG_3096

Computers for Seniors Kicks Off

BY VIC SUTTON, CHAIR, SWNA TASK FORCE ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & ADULT EDUCATION

Computer for Kids classes have been taking place at the James Creek computer lab for years now,using desktop computers. They started in 2007, as an initiative by Thelma Jones, who chairs the Youth Activities Task Force of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA).

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

Photo by Soumil Kumar on Pexels.com

The classes are taught by Gerald Brown and Jenelle Leonard, with support from Jones, Cheryl Moore, Bonnie Sutton and the author. Students learn keyboarding skills, and then some basic uses of the computers. If they attend regularly, they get to take the computers home when they graduate.

At one point Christine Spencer, president of the Resident Council at James Creek, observed “computers for kids is all very well, but what about computers for seniors?”

group hand fist bump

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

She had a point. The SWNA Task Force on Workforce Development and Adult Education took heed, and looked into how to organize computer training classes for seniors.
The Task Force is currently running two series’ of eight weekly classes. One is at Syphax Gardens, for seniors from Syphax and from James Creek, which started on April 16. The other is at River Park, for AARP members. This class started on May 3.
There are ten seniors in each class.Perry

The seniors’ classes are taught by Jenelle Leonard, with technical support from Perry Klein and Jamal Jones.

They commence with an introduction to the notebook computer—starting from basics, like how to plug it in and turn it on and off—and then going on to using Windows 10 and the basics of applications like Microsoft Word.

The classes have had terrific support. Rhonda Hamilton, President of the Syphax Gardens Resident Council, is hosting the classes at Syphax Gardens, and Betty Jean Tolbert Jones, President of the South- west AARP chapter, has helped to set up the classes at River Park.jamal

Klein, who chairs the SWNA Technology Task Force, received a donation of 50 notebook computers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which Neo Morake has been refurbishing. Jamal Jones has been setting up the notebooks at both of the classes, bringing a hotspot so that participants can access the Internet. SWNA’s Computers for Seniors Class also received a 2019 Education Award from the Southwest Waterfront Chapter of the AARP in support of the classes.

After four classes the participants get to take the notebook computers home, to be able to practice what they have been learning, and after the full series of eight classes they get to keep them.

*The class at Syphax had a lively introduction to ways of accessing their favorite musicians, or videos on YouTube, one student however, accessed videos for making chocolate cake. She liked seeing other people making her favorite dessert. At the end of the class , everyone was still engaged in exploring YouTube for whatever purpose they desired. All lamented that there was only one more class to go.

Solar Energy Education! Why Not Use Solar in Communities? Schools and Homes?

Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photo voltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.
But simply, so·lar en·er·gy
/ˈsōlər ˈenərjē/
noun
radiant energy emitted by the sun.
another term for solar power.

The Sun
?sun

How is it used?

Talk about an energy revolution. Not too long ago, solar energy was a pipe dream. Now it’s the cheapest and most abundant energy source in the world. In fact, there are more than 1.8 million solar installations in the U.S. alone (and counting).
Energy 101: Solar PV a video How Solar Energy Works..

alternative alternative energy clean energy close up

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com


There is Community Solar
A community solar project—sometimes referred to as a solar garden or shared renewable energy plant—is a solar power plant whose electricity is shared by more than one household. ‘Community solar’ can refer to both ‘community-owned’ projects as well as third party-owned plants whose electricity is shared by a community.

What Paris Agreement? Washington DC , Does Solar

In Washington , DC. There is a commitment to uses of energy to help with the concerns for the environment. Washington leads the way.

Photovolaic_array_on_top_of_the_James_Forrestal_Building_-_US_Dept_of_Energy_-_2008_800_380_90

Solar Works DC Program celebrates the 100th installation of Solar in the community. Solar for all. the video that celebrates the solar installation

Solar for All aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low to moderate income families in the District of Columbia. The DC Department of Energy and Environment is partnering with organizations across the District to install solar on single family homes and develop community solar projects to benefit renters and residents in multi-family buildings. All Solar for All participants should expect to see a 50% savings on their electricity bill over 15 years and can be proud to have gone solar! In order to be eligible, residents must meet the income guidelines below.

Options for Single Family Homeowners in DC

Two Solar for All grantees are currently installing Solar for All projects for single family homeowners. Solar United Neighbors of DC and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.

Communities all over the country are installing Solar to help with the energy demands.

You will remember Vice President Gore. When he started the initiative, some of us powered solar energy in our classrooms.

We had solar balloons , solar cookers. A parent in my community taught us solar cooking. We did hot dogs, and brownies. We even had a solar race car.
You can build a solar race car , here. Make Your Own Solar Car

In this project you will need creativity and experimentation to design and build a car powered by two solar cells and a small electric motor. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has a PDF curriculum that will also give you ideas and help you learn about the scientific and engineering principles behind building a solar car. (Adult supervision is recommended for this project.)

High schools had it better. They have the Solar Car Challenge is an annual solar-powered car race for high school students.The event attracts teams from around the world, but mostly from American high schools.

The race was first held in 1995. Each event is the end product of a two-year education cycle launched by the Winston Solar Car Team. On odd-numbered years, the race is a road course that starts at the Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas; the end of the course varies from year to year. On even-numbered years, the race is a track race around the Texas Motor Speedway.

Here is the site, if you want to do the High School Challenge.
http://www.solarcarchallenge.org

Bottle Biology? Using Plastics in an Interesting and Academic Way!

I was teaching in a school and I had access to a book on Bottle Biology. Sounds weird, but it is not. I started collecting plastic bottles to do the work. They were washed and then stored.

assorted plastic bottles

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

The custodian reported me to the office because I had about 200 plastic bottles in my teacher’s closet. I am sure he thought there would be insects. Why was he was in my closet? I am sure some teacher told him ? Well maybe the kids bringing the bottles in , made him suspicious.I have no idea why he was reporting me. I was doing science.


What is Bottle Biology?
home_03

I lived in a community where lots of the people worked at the National Science Foundation. A parent gave me the book. I liked it.Here is how the book is introduced.

OUT OF THE TRASH , INTO THE CLASSROOM

“Like many good things in life, the inspiration for Bottle Biology arose unexpectedly — in this case from a pile of autumn leaves. While raking his garden, Paul Williams, a professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, asked himself what might be going on in the middle of the large compost pile he was creating. Why not put some of the leaves in an empty soda bottle and watch them to find out, he wondered. The result: The Decomposition Column and the beginning of Bottle Biology.

Hands-on, eyes-on, noses-on, mouths-on, minds-on: If you combine science with a soda bottle, what do you get? Two liter soda pop bottles orbiting Earth with NASA, might be one result. But did you know you can use bottles to create an ecosystem, explore the concept of niche, and model a lakeshore? You may have made a tornado in a bottle but have you used bottles to pickle your own cabbage? Have you made a bottle microscope, a bottle timer or bottle tweezers?

This website is full of ways you can use recyclable containers to learn and teach about science and the environment. The projects on this website promote science as a tool everyone can use to explore the world. These explorations can be integrated with history, art, music and other creative endeavors.

Out of the trash, into the classroom: You’ll find the inexpensive materials you need for Bottle Biology in your trash can, backyard, supermarket, neighborhood park and recycling center.”

Here is the book. BOOK

With a pair of scissors and your imagination, you can turn plastic soda bottles into tools for exploring the world. This book fueled my imagination. Look at the illustrations on the website about what to do and how to do it.

I think that the custodian thought my closet looked like the photo.

Plastics
can be recycled they can make new bottles and containers, plastic lumber, picnic tables, lawn furniture, playground equipment, recycling bins and more. We use plastic bags to carry home groceries. They keep our bread and other food fresh. … They also can be recycled into new plastic bags – and then recycled again.

I just wanted to show that there were some other uses for the plastic bottles .

I had some parents who met with me about project based learning who were experts on plastic. So we talked about getting the tools and what projects from the book
we were going to have the children make, but then we decided to let them learn about the book and decide what if anything they wanted to do.

boy child clouds kid

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Then, there was an awareness of recycling. Some states had done model programs.
But there were not a lot of library or media resources as there are now.

Now there is a National Geographic Magazine that I would have been able to get for the students, this one.

Planet or Plastics

But then, I was on my own, except for the fact that the students had done project based learning with the National Geographic. Trash led them to go to the school board about food wastes, and what the kids called airplane lunches.

The National Geographic Kids Network included seven 8-week curriculum units focusing on “increasing the time spent on inquiry-oriented, hands-on science instruction, strengthening science process and data analysis skills, raising public awareness of the value and feasibility of appropriate science instruction, and publishing and widely disseminating curricular materials that further these goals.”

While students researched, collected, analyzed, and shared data with their peers they also problem solved and collaborated with students at other schools. In addition, the network also features a scientist who mentored students electronically to evaluate their data, make comments, and offer suggestions. The seven 8-week units included:

Hello!
Solar Energy
Acid Rain
What Are We Eating?
What’s in Our Water?
Too Much Trash?
Weather in Action

So you can see why we decided to ask the students what Bottle Biology projects we should do.

They chose these at first. http://bottlebiology.org/investigations/

Oh Joy! Decomposition.
Decomposition The U.S. generates 190 million tons of solid waste a year — enough to fill a bumper-to-bumper convoy of garbage trucks halfway to the moon. So why aren’t we up to our necks in garbage?

Nature recycles garbage all the time, and this recycling is essential to the availability of nutrients for living things. Nature’s recyclers are tiny bacteria and fungi, which break down plant and animal waste, making nutrients available for other living things in the process. This is known as decomposition.

KimChee!
What pickles a cuke? Is yogurt alive? Where does Swiss cheese get its holes? How is pizza dough made?Kimchee

We had already had a science fair. SIGH. The kids wanted to do a Bottle Biology Sharing. So we took on a few more projects. The smelliest projects had to go to homes. The book does not tell you about the side effects of the smell. But it was all good . Kids had to journal the changes they saw. In the classroom much to the relief of the custodian, we modeled some of the other projects. He even helped us to construct the hanging bottles. Ok, I am not so good at creating them.

The hanging bottle that I think I liked the most was this one.
The kids liked the messiest , hardest ones that were involving the use of fish.
http://bottlebiology.org/investigations/terraqua_main.html
Every one of them wanted to build this. The TerrAqua Column provides you with a model to explore the link between land and water. The model has three basic components: soil, water and plants.

By varying the treatment of just one of these components you can explore how one variable can affect the whole system. How does salt affect the growth of plants? How does adding fertilizer to the soil affect algal growth in the water chamber? What type of soil best purifies water?

Experimentation with the TerrAqua Column is practically unlimited. You can define a question, and then design your experiment to explore it.

You will want these links.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wisconsin Fast Plants Program

bottles clean close up cold

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

The book has a lot more information than the website . Buy the book.

Studying the Human Body ,Is Virtually a Whole New Experience!!

Those of us who started teaching before technology took hold had some hard lessons to teach. Talking about most of the human body was not correct. ( sex) and then to explain the systems. What a job! What was allowed, and what permission did we have?

This is the Me Too Era… there are more resources and perhaps extended permission. We think in new ways about teaching about the human body.
human-anatomy

My friend Delores Davis had each child to use brown wrapping paper in large sizes to make a body. The systems we were allowed to teach were then carefully draw and attached to the brown paper ” body”. And we learned to take a pulse , measure height and weight ,to talk about nutrition.

person using black blood pressure monitor

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I taught from the inside out. I loved using skeletons of small animals that were dis-articulated to have students think about their skeletal structure. Of course I did it around Halloween. One year my brother, who was studying to be a physician brought a whole skeleton to the study.

selective focus photography of skeleton

Photo by Chris Mitchell on Pexels.com

I had a cat, skeleton, a rabbit skeleton, a snake skeleton and a mounted chicken skeleton.

The bones were in boxes and we had a blue velvet sort of box to make the display.

Reading about the human body does not tell you much.  A nurse could come in and talk.

The Red Cross helped us with some little charts to teach about the circulatory system.

And there was a lung that smoked to show children the effects of smoking.

008

INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has a walk through heart. There is also an exhibit 

that goes to communities for the study of the heart.

Museums did a great visualization job in sharing the body systems.

Now there is online BioDigital, and there are many other iterations of ways to study and learn about the human body. You have to establish an account to take a look but it does not cost anything.

The BioDigital Human visualizes anatomy, disease and treatments in interactive 3D.

Some question the use of VR because it requires different teaching strategies. Here is an article that shares those concerns.

Common Sense has reviewed and commented on applications for K-12.

Best Anatomy Apps and Websites for Students

computer desk laptop stethoscope

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Learning anatomy and physiology can be tough for students, especially at higher levels; not only is there a lot to remember, but it can be difficult to comprehend how the body systems all work together.

As students dive into the organs of the respiratory or digestive system, they’ll gain an appreciation for structure and function, and they’ll understand how our anatomy influences our health and the medical field.

Give Gray’s Anatomy a rest with these picks that provide some amazing interactive models, let students perform virtual dissections on animals, and reveal every detail of the human body.

https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/best-anatomy-apps-and-websites-for-students

For younger students ( 3-8) There is Tiny Bop ! It is an app.

Immune Defense

Immune Defense is a strategy game for big kids and grown ups (ages 10+). Players use various types of white blood cells to fight off real pathogens, using real surface molecules and signaling molecules. More information about Immune Defense here.
Available for PC, Mac and Linux computers. The video is here.

SEX EDUCATION?

Harvard takes us to new levels with this curriculum in sex education. (from the article)

“Sex education in America is still often taught as abstinence-only, despite decades of research showing that this approach results in higher teen pregnancy rates and STDs. Absent a more complete sex education — or any at all — children often learn from peers, siblings, or the internet, Brown tells EdCast, opening the way for misinformation and a lack of understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to respect in sexual relationships. Students need to be prepared for the world we live in and become part of a broader conversation about “communication, intimacy, desire, and healthy relationships,” Brown says.”

 

Although the federal government has moved to reduce access to intervention tools such as sex education, there’s also some good news: Many states, fueled by the #MeToo movement, are taking initiative to make change, Brown says. “#MeToo is the catalyst for better consent and sex ed in schools and states around the country,” she says, citing Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Maryland as states that have updated laws to include consent.

https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/12/state-sex-education#.XDe-v4oh1bg.twitter

Welcome to the future.

Study the human body

The Future of Education
Teaching and learning have gone beyond the norms of reading from a book. With the Virtual Reality technology, students are able to better understand concepts at a much profound level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Up STEAM, by Bites and Bytes,YUM!

Delicious Doings in the Classroom or After School Program!!

Mucca - Learning about the Cow and Milk

Hands on Learning

Many of us have had a fascinating whirl on the Internet learning about foods,recipes and ways to involve the joy of cooking, or eating.

I like this site.   http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/  

You can discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking. No need for package services to deliver ideas to you.

anise aroma art bazaar

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It has in the “Science of Cooking”, sections on candy, bread, eggs, pickles , meat, and seasonings.

cream with jelly on top

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

CANDY

BREAD

Person Holding Egg

EGGS

PICKLES

Variety of meat products including ham and sausages

MEAT

The series of live Webcasts explores the science and culture of cooking. The guests include noted chefs, food chemists, and nutritionists, and they take field trips to investigate famous kitchens and farms!

 

dn0g3uk8jbb5ikzxll2j

National Geographic taught us how to think about the way in which foods traveled to our world. There used to be a lesson on a Chocolate Bar. ( How it Becomes a Chocolate Bar_)

Here is that lesson. http://www.iupui.edu/~geni/documents/Worldinacandybar.pdf

Here is a story of chocolate, a kind of story map. http://www.magnumicecream.com/us/en/the-history-of-chocolate.html

                              INVOLVING FAMILIES , and COMMUNITY

I like to get recipes from the class, and sometimes I would have a potluck dinner and parents and I would make a class cookbook. Each student brings in a special family recipe and when compiled together, you have a class cookbook.  I was lucky to have parents who wanted to be a part of helping to teach the Accidental Science of Cooking.

My classes were multicultural. My school had grants that were given to teachers for classroom work. The county also funded projects. With the funding our class got utensils, pots and pans , a two burner hotplate ,and a convection oven. Cooking was gently inserted into the curriculum. STEM, STEAM, whatever.

National Geographic has this :

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/matter-taste-wbt/

 

There was also a Kidsnetwork  NGKN unit on Nutrition and “What are We Eating”.

A great starting point. 

Planet Food

The Planet Food interactive aggregates the contents of your meal to generate a map showing the global footprint your plate makes before it even gets to your plate, and puts you in charge of the world wide journey a bar of chocolate will take before it gets to you.

PLANET FOOD

Welcome to Planet Food. Win lots of virtual badges by completing challenges that get you thinking about where food comes from, and how it gets to your table.

Eat: The Story of Food

Documenting dinners around the world. 

These days, documenting our dinners for the Internet is a universal pastime: sharing your food means that you don’t dig into your plate until you’ve taken a picture of it with your phone and posted it to your social networks. National Geographic gives us photos from around the world.

It is easy on the Internet to look at pictures of food.  Families , schools and communities often come together to explore, examine, and eat food.

 

There are these wonderful areas to explore and tailor to your programs

My favorite is the accidental science of cooking 

The program is from the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking.

 

At the Department of Educations Game Expo I found Chef KOOCHOOLOO

 

After School Programs

Chef Koochooloo’s after school program blends humanity’s oldest means of socialization—cooking and eating together—with its most modern lessons. Their master chefs lead classes leveraging  iPad applications, framed around recipes from a specific country or culture. As they prepare food together, kids learn about cooking-related math and science skills, and social-responsibility. Additionally, we emphasize healthy cooking techniques. Most after school sessions are one hour long, unless the school requests a two hour program. Their teachers have been trained in food safety and culinary arts. Each classroom experience includes a food science experiment, and a fun unique geography lesson.

Their mission is to excite kids by discovering the world through healthy, collaborative cooking classes, enriched with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics learning). Their vision, to improve the health, happiness and education of children worldwide, through dynamic curriculum and engaging gamified technology.

There is an APP for that. Chef KooChooloo !!

 

  Go Graphic, Story Map

A fun thing to do is to have students map how a food got to America, building a story map from ESRI. Here is where to start.

MAKE A STORY MAP

 

adult book business cactus

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

                                                            USING ESRI TOOLS

Start telling stories here. https://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/my-stories/

Some outcomes that I had were unexpected. Families helped my class to build a classroom garden. There were grants that we found , one parent turned over the earth and started us growing. I had quick learning to do.pexels-photo-704818.jpeg

 

Another small miracle is that we began to grow herbs. A parent brought us plants which we put in the school window. Francesco De Baggio, shared with the class how to raise herbs in the classroom windows.

That was a big hit. I had never used fresh herbs. Not being Italian, I did not know that much about pasta either. It was a fun learning journey.

IMG_1773

You need a grant?https://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/