Innovative Molecular Kitchen Workshop seeks to delight students with science

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Can you imagine studying some scientific concepts through the kitchen? This is what the workshop "Molecular Cooking for the classroom: teachers to the kitchen", an initiative organized by the Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO), in collaboration with Par Explora Biobío and carried out by Imagina Ciencia y Fundación Ciencia y Vida.

More than 15 teachers from the Biobío Region are being trained in the course, which began on January 9 at CICAT units. For a week, the teachers will learn how to link concepts like temperature, cell structure, heat transfer, among others. All contents that are seen in the different subjects of the sciences, such as Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Nicole Halcartegaray is the director and creator of this novel proposal. She states: "The idea of Molecular Cooking is to apply concepts of Chemistry, Physics and Biology when preparing food. In this course, we teach techniques that have a scientific foundation. In a class we talk about the cell, the difference between the animal and plant cells. This determines the temperature and cooking time of the food. We also see calculation of solutions, weight, volume and gelling, among other concepts. "

A different proposal, intended to be applied in the classroom. In fact, teachers should replicate some of the recipes in their educational establishments. Norma Núñez teaches Biology at Escuela Michaihue and emphasizes the pedagogical value of the activity. "It's very motivating. It is a challenge to bring teachers into the kitchen and from there, scientific concepts are related. I think that this proposal will be very striking for students. The recipes can even be adapted to explain some subjects seen in the educational curriculum, " she said.

To replicate the workshop in Concepción, a group of CICAT and Millennium Institute of Oceanography (IMO) instructors were trained to support the teachers currently participating in the activity. For the IMO, the monitors and marine biologists Carol González and Evelyn Bustos received the knowledge of the Molecular Kitchen. "It is very interesting to work with the teachers. They are very motivated, I see that there is a compatibility between the transfer of information. The workshop is transversal, we can work with both student of basic and high level, "said Evelyn Bustos.

The training provides a kit so that each teacher has the main elements to replicate the workshop in their different establishments. Whether in a laboratory or in the classroom, students will not have to intervene with fire, since all preparations are made with hot and cold water. It should be noted that the workshop is funded by the CONICYT Explora Project for Assessment and Dissemination of Science and Technology 2015-2016

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Universidad de ConcepciónPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMinisterio de Economía, Fomento y TurismoIniciativa Científica Milenio
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