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STEAM-Powered FACS!

I need to begin this post with an apology and an big “thank-you” to everyone who pre-ordered Cooking Up a Cool Career with STEAM or the STEAM Bundle (FACS:  Full STEAM Ahead and Cooking Up a Cool Career with STEAM).  I missed the ship date for these resources by more than one week and I’m very grateful for your patience!  (To be completely honest, I’m also very glad that the stacks of boxed orders waiting to be shipped are finally out the door and no longer taking up space in our office! LOL)  The response to our STEAM resources has been kind of amazing and we are very grateful!  I truly hope that everyone who receives a copy of one or both STEAM resources finds them useful in their FACS classroom!

STEAM books 6After more than a year of researching and writing about the application of STEAM to the FACS classroom, I am convinced that this is a pivotal moment in the future of our discipline.  Embracing the STEAM approach to classroom instruction is critical to building the image of FACS as a discipline that is current, challenging and valuable to students and communities.  Incorporating STEAM concepts and methods can help FACS move from an expendable elective to an elite component of the curriculum.

I know this change won’t happen overnight and it won’t be an easy process, but anything worth doing is always worth the effort!  The biggest obstacle we face may come from us.  As FACS teachers, like all teachers, you have so many challenges to face every day, it seems unfair to ask you to add something else to your already overflowing plate of responsibilities!  I hear you!  I’ve been there!  That’s exactly my motivation for creating resources like FACS: Full STEAM Ahead and Cooking Up a Cool Career with STEAM.  I do the researching, outlining and project development so that you can adapt and implement STEAM into your curriculum with a minimum commitment of time and effort.  It really is imperative that we adapt to this new paradigm and I’d like to help you meet the challenge.

Stay tuned to this blog, our Facebook page and our website for ideas for adding STEAM power to your FACS program.  I’m here to help!

Ramona

Be so good

 

 

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This Is New!

I’m sure you’ve all experienced that rush of adrenaline when something you’ve been working on for a very long time finally becomes reality!  It’s heady and exhilarating, right?  Well, that’s where our little staff at Fresh FACS is right now!  For a little over four months, we’ve been working on the development and launch of our 2018 catalog and it’s finally complete and ready to share with all of you and we’re very excited.

Now you’re probably wondering, what’s the big deal, right?  We publish a standard catalog of our products every year, so how is this any different and why should you, our FACS friends, care?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  We decided to take an entirely new approach to our catalog this year.  We wanted to make it more than just a showcase of our products.  We wanted it to be something that FACS teachers would enjoy perusing–more like a magazine than a catalog!  So that’s exactly what we did!  We created an attractive publication in which we hope you will find tons of useful and interesting information!  And, oh yes, you will also have access to information about our entire product line of fresh ideas for the FACS classroom!

The cover image of our magazine/catalog appears at the top of this post.  If you’ll look closely at the text on the chalkboard image, you’ll see five project titles listed:  Pizza Perfection, Pasta Engineering, Sweet Architecture, Idea to Icon and Stories and Stitches.  These are five brand new FACS activities outlined in the magazine/catalog that are free for you download to use in your classroom.  Here’s a summary and description of each activity.

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Pizza Perfection–The Science and Style of Pizza

Through this activity, students will explore the science, math, history and style of this incredibly popular dish.  This multi-faceted activity includes:

  • Top Your Own Pizza Recipe
  • Pizza Dictionary
  • A Slice of Pizza History
  • Pizza Personality, What’s Your Style?  An exploration of the most popular styles of pizza and their characteristics.
  • Pizza Style Investigation
  • Pizza With Style, Beyond the Basic Recipe–An exercise in pizza recipe development

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Pasta Engineering–Engineering the Perfect Pasta Salad

This activity will introduce students to the science and engineering of developing the perfect pasta salad.  The activity includes:

  • An introduction to pasta shapes in Pasta Salad Varieties–ID, Please!
  • Selecting the pasta for and original pasta salad recipe.
  • Cooking secrets for perfect pasta salad.
  • Steps and options for developing the perfect original pasta salad recipe.
  • Pasta Salad Dressing Options
  • Engineering the Perfect Pasta Salad Planning guide.

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Sweet Architecture–Engineering a Not So Classic Gingerbread House

This activity is designed to provide students with experience in the application of the principles of the science of baking; observation of the fundamentals of engineering a stable structure; and identification and replication of the elements of specific architectural styles.  This is definitely not a quick holiday activity!  The activity includes:

  • An introduction to ten architectural styles.
  • An Architectural Elements Research Guide
  • Gingerbread Backstory, Hansel and Gretel and Beyond.
  • Engineering a Gingerbread House
  • Gingerbread Glossary
  • Recipes for Construction Gingerbread and Edible Icing Mortar
  • Testing the Mortar, Assessing the Structural Integrity of Edible Mortar options.
  • Gingerbread Hints and Hacks

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Stories and Stitches

This activity combines reading, crafts, sewing and identification of developmental stages into one comprehensive and fun activity.  The project includes:

  • Guidelines for Selecting Books for Preschoolers
  • Benefits of reading in early childhood development
  • Sewing Cards as a Developmental Tool
  • Project outline to guide students through the steps in creating a set of original sewing cards based on a book of their own selection.
  • Sewing Cards Design Activity Evaluation Rubric

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Edible Art Exhibit

Hosting an edible art exhibit can be an excellent opportunity to showcase students’ culinary and artistic skills.  Creating an original work of edible art requires the application of concepts related to:

  • Knife skills
  • Garnishing
  • Cake decorating
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Food preservation
  • Food selection and purchasing
  • Cost management
  • Food photography
  • Structural design
  • Presentation

This activity will guide you and your students through the process of designing edible works or art, as well as planning and coordinating an edible art exhibit.

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Idea to Icon

Many of the products we use every day have very interesting back stories.  This timeline project is designed to guide students through researching and creating a timeline for one of a dozen iconic consumer products:  commercial sewing pattern, breakfast cereal, blender, disposable diaper, commercial baby food, recliner, pizza, fast food, car seat, blue jeans, sneakers, or flip flops.  The activity includes:

  • Research guidelines
  • Timeline examples
  • Presentation options
  • Evaluation rubric

There’s so much more to learn and do in the 2018 Fresh FACS magazine/catalog!  We hope you’ll check it out.  You can page through the entire catalog by clicking on the image below.  To request a hard copy of the magazine/catalog, send us a request on this blog or by private message on Facebook.  Be sure to include the address where you would like your publication mailed.

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Beauty and Brains

Celebrating National Women’s History Month!

hedy-lamarr-2cell-phones

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).

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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!

Ramona