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Exciting Plans for 2020!


Fresh Start for Fresh FACS

You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but January is my absolute favorite month!  I love the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the year past and prepare for the future!  It’s a chance to reorganize and plan for the months that lie ahead!  Who couldn’t love that, right?

In the spirit of looking forward to the new year, I thought I’d quickly share some of the projects we plan to share with all of you, our FACS friends, in 2020!  We hope that some of these ideas inspire you to continue bringing new ideas and content into your FACS curriculum.

Facsessorize logo

Daily FACSessories Delivered to your FB Feed

Beginning Monday, January 6 Fresh FACS will be delivering daily tidbits related to all FACS content areas that you can share with your students.  I am constantly surprised by the fascinating and surprising depth of the connection of the FACS curriculum and the world at large.  To ensure that you and your student don’t miss any of these interesting facts, be sure that you are following Fresh FACS on Facebook!

A Novel Approach to Classic Fiction in the FACS Classroom

A supplement to our popular reading resource, A Novel Approach to Incorporating Fiction into the FACS Classroom, is in development and will be released sometime this summer.  The inspiration for this project was the release of the new movie adaptation of Little Women.  (The movie is must-see, BTW!)  Pictured above is my cherished antique copy of this wonderful novel by Louisa May Alcott along with the newest trade paper release.  I’m so excited to develop the activities that will enable FACS educators to use Little Women as an instructional tool in the classroom.  A Novel Approach to Classic Fiction will also feature activities based on Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Other titles are currently under consideration.

TwinkLED Toes Shoe Clips

Soft Circuit FACS

In recent months I have developed a fascination with the topic of soft circuits or wearable electronics, as it’s sometimes called.  This blending of electronics and textiles and apparel offers such exciting options for expending and enhancing the FACS curriculum that I’m amazed it hasn’t gotten more attention!  I am developing a curriculum for bringing soft circuits into FACS that I hope will be ready for distribution in the fall of 2020.  If you are a little skeptical about how this could work, don’t worry!  I’ll make myself available for hands-on workshops on the topic!  If you want a sneak preview of Soft Circuit FACS, download the TwinkLED Toes Shoe Clips activity (it’s free) from the Fresh FACS website.  Also check out this fabulous website on the subject of wearable technology.

2020 Preview Wrap Up

Well, that’s an overview of the things we’re working on to help you enhance and expand your FACS programs.  As always, we appreciate the loyalty, passion and dedication of the FACS educators who use the resources I develop!  We look forward to a busy and productive 2020 as we seek to build and support FACS education!

Happy New Year to All our FACS Friends!



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First Ever Friday FACSessories

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One of the things I love most about the field of Family and Consumer Science is the way our course content touches every aspect of life!  I see random links to FACS in the news, in magazines, on social media; virtually all around us!  I call these fun facts and bits of trivia FACSessories!  Yes, I made up that word, but I think it fits!  If you’ll read the definition in the graphic above, I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from.  Anyway, I thought I’d share a few FACSessories with you on Fridays.  I hope you’ll share some of these factoids with your students.  You never know what will catch their attention and help them to remember what you’ve discussed in class!

FACSessory #1

Today (April 5) is National Caramel Day!  Americans began making sugary syrups in the 1600s, but the delicious, chewy caramel we love today is a more recent invention.  Caramel candy emerged in the 18th century and quickly became one of the most popular sweets on the market.  In fact, Milton Hershey’s first business was the Lancaster Caramel company!

Caramel is made with butter, brown and white sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla.  It’s usually enjoyed as an ice cream topping, a candy filling, or by itself.  Caramel is an important ingredient in the first ever combination candy bar, the Goo Goo Cluster!

Ask students to think of other dishes, products or recipes where caramel is used as an important ingredient.

FACSessory #2

We casually use trademarked product names in our every written and spoken communication.  There’s a word for this practice–genericide.  Genericide is the process of a trademark becoming generally recognized to represent a particular type of product, rather than the specific company’s product that the trademark emanated from.  This practice is very common in food products.  Here are some food terms you probably didn’t know were trademarked.

  • Shredded wheat
  • Broccolini
  • Butterscotch
  • Granola
  • Jell-O
  • Pink Lady Apples
  • Popsicle
  • Saltine
  • TV Dinner
  • Ugli fruit
  • Coca Cola
  • Thermos

Other FACS-related trademark names (and their non-trademarked names) are:

  • Onesies (Body suit)
  • Crock-Pot (Slow cooker)
  • Chopstick
  • Velcro (Hook and loop fastener)
  • Band-Aid
  • Kleenex (facial tissue)
  • Cuisinart (food processor)
  • Frisbee
  • Pampers
  • Play-Doh
  • Tupperware (Plastic storage container)

Discuss with your students the pros and cons of marketing a genericide trademarked product.

Visit our website for more FACSessorize fun!  Happy Friday!

FACessorize cover cut

Follow Fresh FACS on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for more useful FACS facts and information!


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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!