From the beginning of the summer, it has been jam packed and full of energy, activity and learning by doing at BUGS. Our educators apply Maryland State and Common Core standards to our carefully crafted component curriculums, to create unique lesson plans that engage our youth using all their senses. With our Program's support we've been able to supply our students with materials, edibles, and exposure to things that they will surely never forget.
Making Vitamin C Gummies & Juicing Workshop
This afternoon we explored this DIY project of making our own vegetable based vitamin supplements. Using a juicer, a powdered supplement, and specialty Agar Agar Flakes (which is a special type of seaweed that creates an animal free gelatinous texture to liquids), we got right down to business. Our students at BUGS are huge fans of juice, but usually the kind that contains major amounts of refined sugars and added calories. But when they got to using our classroom kitchen Juicer....... it was like watching kids in a candy store - except these treats did the body a whole lot more good! It was great to see our BUGS students step into teamwork to not only complete their recipe assignments, but exemplify an impressive amount of independence and interest.
Crab Cake Balls at Waterfront Kitchen
BUGS has a partnership with the restaurant Waterfront kitchen, where their manager Kyle Smedburg has accommodated our class size of 12 students. Last time we were there, we made crab cake balls and greenhouse salad (the salad is harvested from our BUGS greenhouse :)). Students were able to tap into their true Marylander as they went about down the crab cake assembly line. Students shared stories about homemade crab cakes, and some unique ways and ingredients that their parents and families used to prepare them. At the end we all sat down to enjoy a well deserved meal!
Cooking & Gardening Collaboration
Part of our work in the various components that we offer, is to find ways to merge and blend the elements of the others. For a week, our Cooking Class collaborated with our Gardening Educator to directly link eco sustainable DIY projects from the urban garden to the kitchen. Our first project was making our own perfumes we collected from an herb walk we took around our campus. We collected a leafy Plantain, marigolds and other edible flowers, Black Eyed Susans, and plenty of lavender and violet (which we have a nice amount of) among others. We look forward to more experiments in the kitchen and plan to collaborate again in our 2nd session.
Our first Summer session is nearing its close, by the end of this week. Then our Educator team is off to Philadelphia for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Summer Institute for a week of Professional Development in youth engagement.
Our second session starts July 31st and runs until August 10th.
BUGS kitchen classroom
Cheers to the frontline BUGs staff, and to all the supporters that make it possible for us to do what we do with Baltimore City youth.
BUGs Cooking/Nutrition Educator