Workshops at the food research laboratories
On March 2nd, 8th, 16th, 2019 a series of onsite tours accompanied with hands-on workshops for school children took place at the laboratories of the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research. Performing experiments with the high-tech equipment of the R&D facilities of Microbiology, Sensory Analysis, Chemical and Physical Properties of Food, Metabolimcs, Chemistry and Biodynamics of Food, as well as Food Immunology and Microbiology, pupils got a first-hand insight into the very core of the food products they eat every day. They cracked the nutrition facts label, analyzed compounds present in snacks and beverages available at school’s canteen, learnt simple experiments on detecting valuable bioactives in drinks, and dispelled controversies around some food stuffs that undermine consumers’ trust in the food system. Ultimately, the workshops empowered children with the knowledge on how to take responsibility in the food chain themselves and handle food safety at home. They also learnt how to store food products appropriately, avoid cross-contamination, obey hygienic practices and follow advice of manufacturers. At the end of the event, participants took part in a quiz evaluating their understanding of the workshops content as well as the level of their trust in the food system in general. The speakers taking part in the event (17 people) comprised IARFR’s food technologists, biotechnologists, chemists and MASPEX experts.
Both pupils and teachers expressed lots of enthusiasm in discovering the origins of food and declared willingness to take part in similar events in the future.
In total 220 participants took part in the event.
Workshops at schools
On March 21st, educational workshops dedicated to school children led by the representatives of the food industry (Maspex) and scientists from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research took place at a primary school in Olsztynek, Poland. The workshops were divided into three topical modules finished with a knowledge Competition task. In the first module school pupils discovered the latest news concerning nutritional recommendations and shared their experiences and doubts as to food choices they make everyday. In the second step pupils gained knowledge on how to read food labels and recognize ingredients that may be harmful to their well-being. In the third educational module, they got familiarized with the commonly used laboratory food tests. Here, children were offered the possibility to run experiments independently under the supervision of experts. In the final stage of the workshops, pupils took part in a quiz, assessing their understanding of the information presented. The speakers taking part in the event (6 people) comprised IARFR’s scientists from the laboratories of microbiology, food immunology and sensory analysis, as well as experts from MASPEX.
The workshops were highly appreciated by school authorities, teachers and pupils who, due to location in a small city, rarely have the occasion to take advantage of hands-on popular science events delivered by scientists themselves.
In total 111 participants took part in the event.