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In many cases, when you bring a room full of pre-teens together, in the summer, to talk about math and science – you don’t hear squeals of excitement. But then this was no ordinary class. This was the highly popular Science and Cooking for Kids, a week-long, free program that is developed and run by Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
Here students in the 4th through 6th grade from Cambridge and the surrounding communities can come to learn how to connect cooking with science and math concepts. The classes are all taught by Harvard researchers and local award-winning chefs.
This is the third summer the program was offered. More than two dozen kids crowded around tables pulling apart gooey grilled cheeses, dissecting chocolate mousse covered in clementine sorbet, or tentatively tasting gazpacho.
“My favorite part was making the food because we actually got to do a lot of it. We even made yogurt and ice cream using liquid nitrogen. It was so cool!” said ten-year-old Nika Kirsanova.
“We worked to give these kids the tools to make smart, healthy decisions, and to teach them that science and math is everywhere – not just in the classroom,” said Kathryn Hollar, Director of educational programs at SEAS.
“Math is really useful in cooking. It was neat to see how fractions worked, like how you can change how many portions you want to make, or how some ingredients change things,” said 12-year-old Zoe Padilla.