Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Going on in the Lab? Baked Potatoes!

Now, you know you clicked on that title because you think I have lost my mind. Right?
Baked Potatoes in the lab!
What am I thinking?
Keep reading!
STEM Project! This is a big one! It's all about baked potatoes and a delivery company. Kids invent a company, create the marketing, design a delivery box, and then share their ads! Total fun and so much learning! Check this blog post!
So, I had some ideas a while back that cooking in our lab might be fun. We tried pancakes and the kids loved it. I kept thinking about other ways to involve food and happened upon this idea quite by accident. I overheard someone complaining one day about only being able to get pizza delivered and wishing other restaurants did the same. (Yes, we know others do deliver, but not in our small town!)
So, I started thinking about what people would want to have delivered......

What about a giant baked potato with all the fixings?????
BAM! I had invented a STEM challenge- not to mention a delivery restaurant idea!

So, here's the premise: The kids must invent a delivery restaurant that will bring baked potatoes to your door. How, you ask, do we get STEM involved in this?
Alright, let's go step by step.
First, the kids had to design a delivery box.
It had to keep the potato hot and crush proof in case they dropped the delivery box.
Check these photos:
STEM Challenge: Kids are using packing materials of their choice to line the boxes, but they must also consider what kind of materials will keep the food hot. It's the great Baked Potato challenge!
Kids are using packing materials of their choice to line the boxes, but they must also consider what kind of materials will keep the food hot.

And just how are we going to know the food will stay hot?
We tested it!

After the boxes were stuffed we actually cooked some potatoes and placed them in the box. We used digital thermometers and tested the potatoes to see how much the temperature would drop in 20 minutes. The kids recorded data every minute. Can you see the temps in those pictures? One is 204 degrees and the other says 197!

At the same time that this box designing was happening other team members were making advertisements for the potato company. The team chose a name, a logo, and a slogan and then made bill boards for their companies.
Take note of the social media on these posters- websites and Instagram!

Some companies offered refunds and Buy One Get One Free! Notice that the company called Potato Tots is also advertising that they now have Sweet Tea! (Yes, we live in the south!)

Another thing each company had to do was decorate their delivery boxes. We looked at some pizza boxes to see what needed to be on our boxes and then created some masterpieces!

I don't have any photos of the last thing each company did, but they also had to perform a television commercial- which meant writing a script and then acting out their ad.
We love this challenge!
It has so many parts!


So, that is Baked Potatoes in the STEM Lab! Thanks for stopping by this week- come back in two weeks for more of:

Coming soon:
Hammocks
Balloons
Platforms
Sailboats

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