What Does Chocolate Have to Do with Science and Engineering?
Recipe for a fun and creative science and engineering project:
- Assemble 63 South San Francisco Unified School District fifth-graders and seven ISPE representatives into nine groups in a gym or cafeteria
- Add big chunks of foam board, Popsicle sticks, construction and corrugated paper, molding clay, scissors, tape, glue and cocoa beans
- Stir vigorously; simmer about 30 minutes
The result? Nine perfectly ingenious “Chocolate Factories,” with pipecleaner MEP systems, Dixie Cup hoppers and fermentation tanks, and other essential features. And, for the fifth-graders, a pretty good understanding of the manufacturing processes that take place in a chocolate factory, which are similar to the manufacturing processes that take place in a biopharmaceutical fermentation facility.
From “Charlie,” at Los Cerritos Elementary School in South San Francisco:
“Thank you for helping us build our factory and teaching us how to build buildings. I learned a lot! I had so much fun!”
Started by Genentech in 2006, the Chocolate Factory project teaches fifth-graders about science and engineering concepts, with the hope of interesting the students in science and engineering careers. DPR has participated in three Chocolate Factory events, with plans to participate in more.
The concept is a natural for DPR, a technical builder of challenging projects with a philanthropic focus on enriching the lives of children.
And, judging by the thank-you notes DPR receives after participating in a Chocolate Factory project, the kids not only are learning manufacturing and construction concepts (including tension, compression force and geometry), they’re having a great time in the process.
Posted on June 8, 2011
Last Updated August 23, 2022