May 29, 2012

Recipes for learning

Mary Maldarelli, a rising senior at Johns Hopkins, talks with students from DuFief Elementary in Gaithersburg, Md., about the dancing raisin experiment being offered by the Johns Hopkins Center for Biotechnology Education. The students dissolved baking soda in water and then added vinegar, which created carbon dioxide and made their raisins “dance.”

Nearly 800 fourth-graders from seven elementary schools in Montgomery County learned bread baking and, at the same time, basic principles in chemistry, math and measurement, through the King Arthur Flour Life Skills Bread Baking Program, which was held on two days last week on the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, Md.

The day included the bread-baking demonstration plus an hour of hands-on science activities, which were run by representatives of 11 local companies, universities, research labs and federal government entities. The program concluded with students receiving ingredients to make two loaves of bread at home. Each student is supposed to enjoy one loaf with his or her family and bring the second back to school so it can be donated to a nonprofit that helps feed the hungry and homeless in Montgomery County.