Teacher Experience: “Culinary Artist” Task for K-12 4-H Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
K-12 4-H instructor
Iowa 4-H and Clover Kids
Culinary Artist: Creating a sustainable food supply
Here’s What We Did:
Individually or in teams of two, 4-H’ers became culinary entrepreneurs who recently purchased a restaurant on the outskirts of an urban center. The restaurant will be 100% sustainable, growing its own fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and sourcing only locally grown foods to be used on the menu. Based on this concept, students created a name, menu, and logo for the restaurant. The challenge was to keep the menu as fresh and sustainable as possible, while developing a marketing strategy for attracting the community. Based on individual research, 4-H’ers were to find availability of the freshest, most abundant foods in our area and create a fresh and fun menu around those foods. Additionally, 4-H’ers had to create their own compost from food scraps and use the compost as the soil for the restaurant garden.
Students had the choice to produce an advertisement which could include a brochure, pamphlet, or online web advertisement to promote the restaurant’s vision; an artist’s rendering of the menu; a magazine article highlighting the new restaurant; a multimedia presentation; or a two-minute news story. Students presented their projects at the Monona County Fair in Iowa.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
The Iowa 4-H program is investigating new ways to incorporate technology into our programming. Defined STEM fits into our work, because it allows the youth to make the decisions as to what they want to learn about, how they want to learn it, and how they will show what they’ve learned to others. It is very youth-driven and based on learning life skills and application versus memorizing facts, which fits extremely well with our 4-H philosophy. The products created by the 4-H’ers were incredibly creative and innovative. The 4-H’ers who used Defined STEM were very motivated and had fun learning about a new topic on their own while utilizing the computer to create their projects.