FACS Careers, FACS Engineering, FACSessorize, Family and Consumer Science Education, FCS, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Home economics, National Women's History Month, Techno FACS

Beauty and Brains

Celebrating National Women’s History Month!


Hedy Lamarr:  Brilliant, Beautiful and Bold

Our blog post today honors Hedy Lamarr, a woman who truly “had it all”! Often called “The Most Beautiful Woman in Films,” Hedy Lamarr’s beauty and screen presence made her one of the most popular actresses of her day.  While it’s unlikely that students in today’s FACS classes would be familiar with her work on film, they all owe Hedy a debt of gratitude.  You see, her work off screen led to the development of one of the most used items in today’s world:  the cell phone!

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria.  At seventeen years old Hedy starred in her first film, a German project called Geld auf der Strase.  Hedy continued her film career by working on both German and Czechoslovakian productions.  The 1932 German film Exstase brought her to the attention of Hollywood producers, and she soon signed a contract with MGM.

Once in Hollywood, she officially changed her name to Hedy Lamarr and starred in her first Hollywood film, Algiers (1938), opposite Charles Boyer.  She continued to land parts opposite the most popular and talented actors of the day, including Spencer, Tracy, Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart.  Some of her films include an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat (1942), White Cargo (1942), and Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949) and The Female Animal (1957).


As if being a beautiful, talented actress wasn’t enough, Hedy Lamarr was also extremely intelligent.  In addition to her film accomplishments, Hedy patented an idea that later became the foundation of both secure military communications and mobile phone technology.  In 1942, Hedy and composer George Antheil patented what they called the “Secret Communication System.”  The original idea, meant to solve the problem of enemies blocking signals from radio-controlled missiles during World War II, involved changing radio frequencies simultaneously to prevent enemies from being able to detect the messages.  While the technology of the time prevented the feasibility of the idea at first, the advent of the transistor and its later downsizing made Hedy’s idea very important to both the military and the cell phone industry.

This impressive technological achievement combined with her acting talent and star quality to make “the most beautiful woman in film” one of the most interesting and intelligent women in the movie industry.

Have a great weekend!





Back to School Ideas, Children and Families, FACS Careers, FACS Rocks!, For the Love of FACS, Save FACS

FACSessorize! Friday

Happy Friday, Everyone!  Hope you have exciting (or relaxing) plans for Columbus Day Weekend!  Even though I’ve been out of the classroom for a few years, I well remember how welcome this early fall break is! 

Once again, it’s been some time since I posted to this blog.  I really hope to be more consistent in posting in the future and to help keep me on track I’m setting a goal for myself to share a FACSessorize idea with you each Friday.  Unless you’ve attended a conference where I presented a workshop on FACSessorizing (my original word, BTW) you are probably a little confused right now.  Read on to see what FACSessorize is all about. 

jeans ensemble

FACSessorize (Faks’ses oriz) v.

1. To add value to the basic content of a Family Consumer Science lesson.  2. To make lesson content more memorable through the use of music, technology and other devices.

Planning a lesson should be like planning an outfit.  You begin with the basics: Lesson topic, Standards, Outcomes, Objectives, Instructional Strategies, Review and the Evaluation Process.  But how do you make that lesson memorable?  What do you do to help students retain the concepts from the lesson?  In other words, how do you “accessorize” your lesson to set it apart from the ordinary?  How do you make it memorable? 

fashion ensemle 2

Ways to FACSessorize the basic FACS lesson:

    •    Intriguing, funny or fantastic facts (Fascinating FACS)

    •    Share statistics/numerical facts that dramatize the importance of lesson content (FACS By Numbers)

    •    Holidays, dates and special events that relate to lesson content. (Celebrate Today)

    •    Inspiring or amusing quotes (In So Many Words)

    •    Build FACS vocabulary (FACS Speak )

    •    Online resources, activities and video clips (Quick Links)

    •    Starter activities introducing or applying lesson concepts. (Focus On FACS)

    •    Profiles of people, events or products related to FACS (Historical FACS/Pop Culture)

    •    Adding music (FACS Soundtrack)

Fashion ensemble 3 When planning an outfit for everyday or a special occasion, you choose your accessories with care and discretion.  You likely wouldn’t select a necklace, earrings, bracelet, scarf, belt, bag and sparkly hair accessories for a trip to the mall.  Too many accessories can be distracting and demonstrate a lack of fashion sense.  You select your accessories to enhance and complement your outfit.  The same principles apply when you select “FACSessories” for your lessons.  You will want to select FACSessories that expand and enhance lesson content without overshadowing your primary objectives. 

FACSessorize 2

I will be releasing FACSessorize!, our latest resource for FACS teachers in January.  The goal of FACSessorize! is to provide FACS teachers with a ready reference of FACSessories so that it’s easy to make every session with students fabulous and memorable! FACSessorize! will be a topical reference based on 350 foundational FACS lesson topics from all content areas.   Check back on this blog and the Fresh FACS Facebook page each Friday for FACSessories that you can use now for free!


FACS Careers, FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Reading in the FACS Classroom

Introducing Sophie!

Meet Sophie 2 Sophie is the newest “member” of the Fresh FACS family and we’re very excited for all of you to meet her!  Sophie’s accepted a very important job in our organization.  She has agreed to guide FACS teachers through the Fictional Culinary Adventure we call Four-Course FACS.  This is our brand new curriculum using the teen novel  Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous in place of the traditional textbook.

We decided to bring Sophie on board because we knew that the concept of using a teen novel in place of a textbook as the foundation for a Culinary Arts program might seem a little offbeat.  Fortunately, Sophie has been with me throughout the development of Four-Course FACS and understands the concept completely.  (Confidentially, she told me that she thinks the concept is brilliant!)  How about we let Sophie speak for herself.Sophie loves four course facsPizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous is great read!  The novel follows the experiences of Sophie Nicolaides (I love her name, don’t you?) as she competes in the Teen Test Kitchen reality cooking show competition.   I learned so much about cooking, food safety and sanitation, knife skills and the cuisines of the world from reading about the adventures of Sophie N. and her fellow teen chef contestants.  Reading the novel was like completing a course in culinary arts!  How cool is that?  I know your students are going to love reading Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous!

Sophie speaks to teachers

Four-Course FACS features:

  • A curriculum map between the novel and the four most popular culinary arts textbooks.
  • 10 lessons for the interactive whiteboard/Power Point
  • Sophie’s Culinary Glossary
  • Top of the Class Culinary Competition guidelines and experiences
  • Restaurant management activities
  • Menu design
  • Career activities
  • 50 classroom-ready recipes
  • Activities in recipe development
  • Preparation of dishes from around the world
  • Chemistry of baking
  • Knife skills
  • More than 30 original activities with support materials and evaluation rubrics.
  • Much more

Sophie and lukeAs you can see, Four-Course FACS has something for everyone!  I hope you’ll take Sophie’s advice and check it out!  Watch the Fresh FACS website for availability.