Engaging Young Minds in Food and Production
FoodEducators exhibit was designed with young minds at the forefront. Divided into dynamic zones, each area served a unique purpose:
1. Interactive Games Zone: Children and (young - I would delete) adults alike dived into games that deepened their understanding of healthy, sustainable food choices, food production, and the vast world of agrifood careers.
2. EIT Food and FoodEducators Dialogue Zone: This space facilitated enriching conversations, allowing visitors to gain insights into the mission of EIT Food and the endeavors of FoodEducators.
3. Meet the Agrifood Professionals Zone: Here, visitors got the opportunity to interact with professionals from the agrifood industry, understanding the nuances of their roles and the future of food production. On Saturday, Gianlorenzo De Santis from Crover Ltd showcased an innovative robot drone, allowing attendees to explore the intricacies of wheat grain analysis. Mimica's Ieva Hofmane and Solveiga Pakštaitė presented the revolutionary Bump technology, providing solutions to reduce food waste, while Stella Lignou & Victoria Norton from the University of Reading quizzed students on food packaging symbols.
Mimica team presents its unique innovation
Our food educational activities
Protein "Top Trumps" was one of our most popular activities, a game of card trading based on sustainability metrics for protein sources. The real-world implications of water use, CO2 emissions, land use, and protein content were discussed in depth, making it both an educational and engaging activity.
Protein Top Trumps is a fun game kids and parents can play together
The Food Careers Guessing Game offered a fun challenge. Armed with booklets, students had to list the multitude of jobs that go into producing everyday lunchbox items.
"Guess how many careers are behind a ham and cheese sandwich!" - the activity booklet makes students think about agrifood careers
Food Waste Kahoot game. At least twice every hour, big crowds gathered in front of our screens, waiting for our food waste quiz to start. Good news: the quiz can be found in this FoodEducators lesson plan, so anyone can test their (or their students') knowledge!
The Food Storage game saw children placing food magnets on a magnetic whiteboard fridge, showcasing their understanding of food preservation. The accompanying (online) Save the Recipe Game where visitors helped to unlock a stolen password to recover the recipe for an alternative protein snack was a fun activity for teenagers and parents.
Cosmic Food presentation was also a revelation for many. Visitors discovered the technology of freeze-drying, a storage and preservation technology that can be the future of our food.
The Food Labyrinth educated visitors about the human digestive system.
"Can you guess what this is?" - using plush toys makes our digestion system much cuter - and also, attractive to young audiences
Not only did the FoodEducators team witness a huge turnout at our exhibit, the feedback - from parents, teachers and students alike - was resoundingly positive. Visitors loved the interactive nature of our zone, the depth of information provided and agreed to the importance and need for food education. NSL was also a great opportunity to test our food education activities, which could be used in the future at similar events, either by us, or by our partners. We look forward to many more such opportunities to enlighten, engage, and empower.
Action points for organizing a food education-related event in your school (or elsewhere):
- If you can, prepare a stage or zone where you can run multiple activities simultaneously. Divide your space with tables and chairs.
- If possible, go digital, and offer quizzes and games on tablets besides paper-based activities.
- A Kahoot quiz is ideal to make noise and attract the audience from other stages. It offers a great community experience - don't forget to offer prizes!
- Announce everything on a board so participants know when to come back for more games/discussions or interviews.
- Invite experts from the food industry (check whether parents have any expertise they could share)
- Have a board on which participants can share feedback.
- Use our resources for inspiration - they offer lots of worksheets, videos, and activities!
Our feedback board was as simple as it gets!