STEAM meets Culinary

When integrating STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into curriculum we must think of the outcome we are desiring for the students. There needs to be a value and reason why they are completing the task, while still staying on track with standards. This can be done easier than most believe, and most educators are probably integrating STEAM without even knowing it! One way this  can be achieved is with project-based learning, which can impactful when learning any topic. Being hands on and creating a project will get students engaged. In addition this gives students an opportunity to present their work to their peers and the outside community to receive feedback and iterate (Gunn). Furthermore when integrating STEAM into the classroom it is important for all students to have confidence in themselves and have a sense of belongingness to be successful. This will help students in their future, because as humans we need to belong to succeed and survive (Burns). 

When it comes to integrating STEAM in family and consumer science classrooms, there are a lot of opportunities for students due to the nature of the classroom being more focused on hands on work. STEAM is built into almost every lesson of FACS 6-12. When thinking about the high school level, all cooking labs incorporate science, tech, engineering, art, math and literacy skills. An example would be testing ingredients in a “test kitchen” set up students can understand the function of each ingredient in the item. From there, students can hypothesize, test recipe outcomes using controls and variables as well as create or adapt recipes (Washington FACS Educators). Another way STEAM could be integrated would be do use an inexpensive ingredient such as popcorn. Students would study how the transfer of thermal energy turn corn into an edible product- popcorn. This could go a step further and students could study which type of dried corn are best for popcorn and can even go on to inventing a new popcorn device using various heat sources. Next, another idea is using baking to teach fractions and experiment with different variations of the ingredients used. This can be taken a step further to study the chemical interactions of the cookies components (Henderson). 

Burns, H. (2017). Infusing Empathy Into Engineering Design: Supporting Under-represented Student Interest and Sense of Belongingness. American Society for Engineering Education.

By. (2016, November 16). Baking Builds FACS STEAM. Retrieved from

Culinary arts integration: Turning STEM into STEAM. (2016, July 7). Retrieved from

Gunn, J. (2018). English Teachers: How You Can Use STEAM in Your Classroom. Concordia University-Portland. Retrieved from

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2019). Learning. In C. Sinclair (Ed.), Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (pp. 35-44). Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

2 thoughts on “STEAM meets Culinary”

  1. Hi Ashley,

    I think that it is great that there are endless opportunities that FACS 6-12 can provide for STEAM integration into the classroom. The “test kitchen” sounds like a great idea to have kids ‘tinker’ with recipes to adapt them to certain needs. No one truly realizes how scientific FACS 6-12 can truly be, but you have opened my eyes to how you can integrate STEAM into your classroom!


  2. Ashley,
    I didn’t even realize how many possibilities there were in culinary arts to incorporate STEAM! There is such a variety too from what you described, which is great for keeping students engaged and on their toes for the next lesson. You could even do some kind of interdisciplinary project along with other teachers to have students complete a common task achieved by working on different components in different classes. This would open students eyes to how all of their different school subjects can contribute to having real world applications!
    -Great Post!
    -Anthony Marino

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