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Cupcakes Spark STEM Learning
Plumes of flour dust, smiles galore and a multitude of frosting colors converged as dozens of 13-year-olds competed to create the best cupcake.
Maryvale Middle School and Erie 1 BOCES joined forces to spark student interest in technical careers. For the past week, approximately 75 eighth-grade students partook in a STEM lesson that was co-taught by Erie 1 BOCES’ culinary teacher Eric Kraft and Maryvale’s home-careers teacher Kathleen Wild. During the week, the youth worked on math, measuring, following directions and more as they learned how to make the perfect cupcake.  At the close of the week, the students traveled to Erie 1 BOCES’ professional kitchen at the Harkness Career & Technical Center for a delicious cupcake war.
The student groups were responsible for creating cupcakes of their team’s choosing. Each group was judged on the presentation, taste, creativity and cleanliness of their station. Arielle Acquisto and Joy Rindfleisch took first place and were presented with a trophy. Their cupcake titled Raspberry Dutch Luxe, consisted of a raspberry jam filled chocolate cake that was topped with a Dutch chocolate frosting. Their secret ingredients entailed a slight hint of mint and fresh raspberries to enhance the existing flavors.
All students left the lesson with additional knowledge and a takeout container of their cupcakes to share.
As part of public education, BOCES offer a variety of career and technical programs during the normal school day to high school students. Erie 1 BOCES partners with Erie County school districts to offer unique learning opportunities in a cost effective manner. High school students interested in learning more about how they can participate in various programs such as culinary, welding or aviation technology should visit or speak with their high school counselor.
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