PBL: Ion Chef

This project had the coolest product ever. Just imagine this – 30 kids all madly dicing food, steam swirling from woks, and a whirlwind of chatter around the symbolism of an orange. So cool.

The presentation consisted of teams standing before a panel and presenting their meal. They were asked to explain how this meal represented both culture and chemistry (this could easily be narrowed down to one or the other).

ion chef 2

Their meals were beautiful – like this congee turned garden above – but it was their explanations that won the panel over. Their in depth knowledge of Chinese Culture was mind blowing. Every element of the meal united for a strong cohesive message.

When it came to the science side of things, their responses were almost comical. Every group responded to their chemistry question with a nervous “Oh, we don’t really know much about that…“, quickly followed by a detailed explanation of the transfer of energy involved in cooking. Right. I think they genuinely thought they hadn’t gained any technical knowledge; the transfer of energy, structure of molecules and acid levels were things they’d discussed in their team so frequently they believed it was common knowledge to all… even their silly English teacher. Time for me to nod, right? Uh huh.

Driving Question: What can cooking teach me about chemistry and culture? 

ion chef 5 ion chef 4 ion chef 3

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