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Extension > Family Matters > Ninth Annual University on the Prairie: Where Can Science Take You?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ninth Annual University on the Prairie: Where Can Science Take You?

By Kathy Brandt, Extension Educator — Food Safety

The Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) in Lamberton, MN was the site for University on the Prairie, a summer program for high school students in grades 7–12. Between July 28 and 30, sessions explored science concepts and careers of importance to the economics of Southwest Minnesota. Topics included the environment, agriculture, chemistry, and engineering, as well as food and health, two topics at the heart of the work done both in Family Development’s Health and Nutrition unit and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource’s Food Safety unit.

The food science sessions provided students with exposure to foods that are processed by microorganisms through fermentation. From pickles to pepperoni, microorganisms play a role in almost all of the foods and beverages we consume. Professor David Baumler, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, set the stage for fun and learning through a series of hands-on activities including making yogurt and sauerkraut, canning pizza sauce, making yeast dough for pizza crust, and bottling homemade root beer. The students gained understanding of the important process fermentation contributes to foods we consume daily.

For more information about SWROC's K-12 and family programs, visit the SWROC website. To connect with a food safety Extension educator in your region, visit Food Safety Program Team.

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