View Full Article - Partnership for Innovation in Education



View Full Article - Partnership for Innovation in Education
Hyde Park students get real world taste of S.T.E.M.
Partners in Education provides unique learning opportunity for area students:
Part II - Hyde Park School
by Cynthia Smith
photos by Cynthia Smith and Sharon Butler
We often hear the phrase, “Time spent
learning is never wasted,” especially
when things don’t go as planned.
The 4th graders in the gifted program
at Hyde Park School and the owners of a
gifted bakery explored this truth together
in the spring of 2014.
Teamed for a Partnership for Innovation in Education project (PIE - see sidebar), the students and BonBonerie set out
to develop a new cake flavor that would
appeal to children for birthday parties.
“PIE is the primary overseer and program
developer of this and other school-based
programs,” explains PIE founder and
CEO Mary Schleuter of Hyde Park.” “We
asked Bonbonerie to join us wit Hyde
Park School.”
After research to determine what kind
of cake and icing children preferred, the
students were meant to get hands-on experience in product development, pricing
and marketing as part of a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Economics and Math)
As so often happens in the “real
world,” the project
took its own path.
The outcome was
unexpected, but time
spent on the project
definitely was not
wasted. It led to important lessons the
students couldn’t
have gotten any other way.
Lesson #1:
Touring BonBonerie, the students were surprised at how heavy
the mixing bowls were.
Research is Hard
Work (Technology)
After a taste test involving the kindergarten, 4th and 6th grade classes, it was
time to crunch the numbers. But inputting
so much data proved more time-consuming than anyone expected. “I was really
surprised,” said BonBonerie co-owner
Sharon Butler. “We had never done this
kind of serious research before. If it had
been conducted by professionals, it would
have been cost-prohibitive.”
Continues on page 28
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Continued from page 27
Lesson #2: It Takes a Lot of People
to Get a Product out the Door (Food
Science and Economics)
As part of the project, 42 students took
a tour of the bakery, learning the process
of making cakes on a large scale. From
the person who takes the phone order
to the person who hands over the boxed
cake, they learned that some 12 people
“touch the cake.” As an adult on the tour,
I learned the amazing amount of labor
involved in the homemade quality of a
BonBonerie cake.
Lesson #3: Pricing is Complicated
(Economics and Math)
Students in three grades taste tested cakes
and icing.
Hyde Park School teachers Denielle Endres
and Vicki Witkowsi with Mary Schlueter of
Partners for Innovation in Education at the
project kickoff.
Hyde Park School 4th‑graders learn about
their BonBonerie case with Mary Schlueter
of Partners for Innovation in Education
miliar airy texture of the grocery cake to
the denser, fresher, all-natural BonBonerie
The student-researchers were disappointed, but the teacher said, ‘This is the
real world, where marketing research
matters,’ shared Butler. “We decided that
if the project were to move forward, a new
Lesson #4: Numbers Don’t Lie,
cake variation would need to be tested.
or Things Don’t Always Go As
That’s a project for next year, perhaps,”
Expected (Science, Technology and
she added.
Life Lesson)
Reflecting on these and other lessons,
School was almost out. As the students the team celebrated on the last day of
compiled the final results from the taste school with -- what else -- a delicious
test (via Survey Monkey), they realized BonBonerie cake.
there was another problem with their plan
(beyond running out of time). During the
taste test, a BonBonerie cake was tested
against the type of birthday cakes one
might find at regular bakeries or groceries,
and BonBonerie icing was tested against
ordinary icing. BonBonerie’s icing won,
but the BonBonerie cake came in second
place. The testers preferred the more faBack in the classroom, as they worked
to price the hypothetical item they hoped
to market, they learned that math has
real-world applications, and pricing is
tricky. You have to price high enough to
make a profit, yet low enough to compete
in the marketplace.
Hyde Park Living
August 2014
About PIE
Called “Curricular Innovation”
by Harvard University’s School of
Education, the experiential program
Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE) - headquartered in Hyde
Park - is the first to be implemented
in the K‑8 classroom. Mary Welsh
Schlueter, founder and Chief Executive Officer for PIE, says, “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). This
collaborative approach encourages
high level ‘deeper learning’ required
for new critical thinking guidelines
in schools. It will help students now,
and in their careers.”
As a former UC business faculty
member, business executive, CPS
parent and Harvard Business School
alumna, Mary first implemented PIE
in the Kilgour School, serving as the
educator and curriculum developer,
matching all ODE Curriculum Standards.
Mary feels, “Experiential education is extremely important in
undergraduate and
graduate programs
in medicine, business, engineering,
public policy, law
and science. In addition, it enables
students - in any social demographic - to
respond in a positive
manner when assessed for engagement, attendance, academic achievement
and career readiness
“Moreover, the
‘case based’ Socratic pedagogy (based
The team celebrated on the last day of school with a
on questioning, and
BonBonerie cake made just for them.
finding answers; active vs. passive learning) has never
they are learning in a multi‑dimenbefore been employed in the K‑8 pubsional and ‘hands on’ manner. We
lic school sector and, even more so,
are not only teaching ‘life’ skills, we
with a technology literacy component
are teaching ‘how to define a prob(app development). Our curriculum
lem’ and how to ‘provide a solution’
is scalable and engages kids using
context and real life application.
For more information on PIE,
“It’s a joy to watch the ‘aha’
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to understand the relevance of what
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