Celebrity Chef Links Cooking, Math Learning

By Liana Loewus — April 23, 2014 1 min read
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In a blog post earlier this month, I asked why STEM learning needed to be “real world,” kicking off an interesting discussion in the comments section and on Twitter about connecting science, technology, engineering, and math learning to careers.

It seems Scholastic is aiming to make those connections concrete with a series of “webisodes” showing reality-TV celebrities using math in their professions.

The newest 30-minute online episode of Math@Work, scheduled to air April 29, will feature chef Carla Hall, who gained fame on “Top Chef” and is now a co-host on “The Chew.” (I admit it. I’m a big fan of Carla, perhaps why this caught my eye.) She will challenge culinary-arts students to cooking competitions, giving them recipe conversions and other math problems along the way. Here’s a preview:

Apparently Michelle Obama will make an appearance as well, along with White House executive chef Sam Kass, to deliver a message about the importance of healthy eating and cooking. Kass and the first lady partnered on the Let’s Move campaign to encourage healthy lifestyles.

A previous webisode featured fashion guru Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” showing the link between clothing design and math problem-solving.

Teachers can get free lesson plans, which Scholastic touts as common-core aligned, to go with the online episodes. (As we have noted many times at Education Week, claims of alignment to the standards don’t always pan out.)

The lessons are aimed at students in grades 5 and up.

Obviously there are plenty of programs now making these real-world connections explicit. But this one seemed particularly fun. If you’re a teacher and decide to watch, please do check back and let us know how it went.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.