Curriculum, Culture, and Cuisine
This program guides K-12 teachers in developing curriculum to examine how the science, culture, and socioeconomics of food influences educational understandings and practices in the school environment. Of particular focus will be the students' scientific inquiry into their local food science contexts and the implications for academic achievement, physical health and social justice. Topics will include indigenous food sources and issues of access, correlation of STEM content standards to cultural food practices, and personalized health and nutrition advocacy. The program activities are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (http://ngss.nsta.org/About.aspx) and/or relevant content area standards of the teachers’ specific national standards.
The motivation behind this program stems from:
- U.S. students lagging STEM education
- U.S. students unhealthy lifestyles
- U.S. schools demographic shift toward more diversity with a disproportionate amount of diverse students underperforming academically
- U.S. students' of military families need to develop community around healthy lifestyles
A key goal of this program is to increase the STEM knowledge and skills and overall physical health of K-12 students through curriculum development and food-based activities. Another important goal is to increase K-12 students’ culturally relevant actions and dispositions that are intended to guide them into positive interactions with diverse people.