Do you know more than a sixth grader?
We shared our goal of creating a new seasonal flavor for Madisono's with the sixth graders at Kilgour Elementary Students in Mt. Lookout and in turn, they helped us create the gelato flavor "Triple Chocolate Dare".
This was an exciting project through a partnership made possible by a grant from Ohio's Straight A Fund, in which students are learning about math and science with a real life case study. Over ten weeks the students and I (Matt Madison) created a survey including questions about favorite flavors, fruits, and taste preferences of salty, sweet, or sour. The entire Kilgour K-6 student population participated in the research. Lead Math 6 Grade teacher Mrs. Stephanie Bisher then oversaw focus group meetings and taught students to compare ingredients by cost allocation.
Data showed the favorite was chocolate, and it was established as the flavor base.
I provided cost data for the top choice of add-in ingredients: brownies, cheesecake, Oreo cookies, and several others. The students made decisions based on gross profit margin, as well as considering allergens for each. It's been great to come into the classroom and show them a real life story problem. And one they've been so enthusiastic about!
I enjoyed teaching parts of the unit, and the student reaction confirmed the success of the partnership. I'd love to return with this project every year. I want the first graders to look forward to their own gelato project when they get old enough.
In the last phase of the project, the students brainstormed names for the new gelato. The favorites were "Choczilla", "Kilgour Chocolate Galore", and "Chocolate Cubed."
Called "Curricular Innovation" by Harvard University's School of Education, this experiential program is the first to be implemented in the K-8 classroom. "It's the first use of this problem solving approach in an elementary school. After we create a Harvard-style case study, we scale and duplicate the STEM based curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to other schools," said Mary Welsh Schlueter, Chief Executive Officer for Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE).
The students are also creating an app with the help of NKU, and sales will provide revenue to the school. This collaborative approach encourages high level
"deeper learning" required for new critical thinking guidelines in schools. It will help them now, and in their careers. Schlueter has been busy overseeing 18 schools who are participating in the grant.
The students will saw their research and marketing come to life in the Madisono's Gelato booth at the Kilgour Festival May 17, where a percentage of the gelato sales will return to the School. The new flavor will be available in retail stores across Cincinnati starting June 1.