Now that summer camps are underway, summer fun includes learning culinary arts for kids. And they are learning to have fun with creative cooking while learning math and science.
For example, nigiri is not usually on the average middle school menu. But learning to make candy into a treat that looks like sushi? Most kids can really enjoy that – and devour it!
Summer STEM camps were recently attended by about 80 students. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and math. The career camp at Lancaster County Career and Technology Center’s Brownstown campus offered sessions that provided kids fun hands on learning experiences that got them interested in culinary arts, manufacturing, adn renewable energy..
In Tina Arnt’s classroom, students such as soon-to-be ninth-grader Dzenis Alagic worked Tuesday with 3-by-6-inch beds of marshmallow cereal treats to create sushi rolls. Fillings included fruity cereals, fruit rope and sprinkles that resembled roe. Manheim Township’s Dzenis and his friends noted that the dry ingredients were easier to maneuver than the sticky, stretchy candies.
Using chopsticks, the students arranged their creations — some with chocolate syrup as soy sauce and molded red Tootsie rolls as pickled ginger. The emphasis was on presentation, but earlier in the day, Arnt’s students learned about the scientific reaction that helps create homemade marshmallows.
Next door, in Dan McCauley’s lab, a second group of students crowded around an engraver as its laser cut out their individually designed bento boxes. The digital design and print media instructor helped students use software to create a way to store and market their kitchen creations.
“They’re visiting all of our labs, and that gets them excited to think, ‘I could come back here in a couple of years,’ ” says Arnt, a culinary instructor in Mount Joy. “We’re planting the seed for the future.”