STEM in Cooking: Exploring the Beginnings of Chemical Engineers

Food assembly has long been a part of early childhood curriculum. There are many examples of how mathematics is embedded in preparation of ants on a log, or sandwiches. What is often overlooked is the STEM within actually cooking experiences. As children make their own servings of pudding, pancakes, muffins, quesadillas, eggs, or playdough, they engage in vocabulary that often has multiple meanings. In cooking we whip, beat, sift, dice...all words that have different meanings in different contexts.

There is mathematical thinking such as of more and less, shorter and longer in terms of time, number of scoops or spoonful’s and experiences connecting children to the concepts of volume and fractions. Cooking experiences can introduce cultural dishes previously unknown to children, or regularly enjoyed. Finally, cooking experiences immerse children in observations about properties of materials or ingredients, and how those properties may change when heat or cooling is applied to a mixture.

Select the recipes below for children to follow and prepare their own servings of food and playdough.

To view the experience sheet, please click here.