STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Cooking Program
Davis has been building its STEM and Cooking programs since the fall of 2017. We began with short 20-30 minute science lessons in the Creeper, Scooter, Wiggler, Trooper, Hopper, Sparkler, Snapper, and Ranger rooms one time each week. What began as simple exploratory lessons has grown into a diverse curriculum where students explore different scientific disciplines such as biology, ecology, chemistry, and physics, learn how to be thinkers and engineers, practice their mathematical skills, and engage in sensory play. During the school year, classrooms can also sign up for a monthly afternoon STEM projects where students participate in additional play-based activities related to a monthly theme. Examples of these projects include engineering houses from fairy tale stories, constructing a snowy evergreen forest, experimenting with baking soda and vinegar reactions, and recreating duck ponds. As the STEM program continues to grow, we also saw an opportunity to provide cooking and taste testing experiences for our students.
Our cooking program exists in two parts: 2 Bite Club and monthly cooking projects. Students engage in each activity once a month. During 2 Bite Club, students explore a new fruit or vegetable of the month by examining an uncooked version of the chosen item, discussing how and where it grows, and then taste testing a prepared version of the item as a class. Each student then votes using their picture on the 2 Bite Club boards that are posted near the entryway for parents to see and ask their children about during pick-up times. Taste-tested items are then incorporated into the monthly menu items and served again for students to retaste and build their palette. In addition, monthly cooking projects are additional lessons relating to a monthly theme that classes are able to sign up for in the afternoon as a way to practice their math skills when measuring and their large and small motor skills while preparing a tasty treat. Our emphasis is to focus on creating healthy snacks while also having fun. Some examples of past cooking projects include fruit salsa, potato latkes, applesauce making, and colored pancakes. Students enjoy these edible experiences and are offered new tastes and skills they can then share with their families when they participate in these programs.
Green and Healthy School
Davis is a part of the Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin Program. The Purpose of Green and Healthy Schools is to support and empower schools to create healthy kids and sustainable communities. Davis is on the journey of work through nine different focus areas as we move up and complete different levels in the program. Davis is currently at Seedling Level, and is working toward moving to the Sapling Level in our commitment to create a healthier and more sustainable Center.