Say Cheese: Teaching Materials Science through Science & Cooking

(Top) Teachers at in-person science of cheese workshop, and during virtual workshop.
(Bottom left and center) Written teacher feedback during in-person science of cheese workshop.
(Bottom right) Former Navajo Tech student Breanna Thompson leading tortilla and elasticity activity during Native American High School Program at Harvard.

The Harvard MRSEC engages K-12 teachers and students through the science of everyday materials. Through a collaboration with non-profit Bite-Scized Education, led by Kate Strangfeld, the MRSEC is co-developing workshops for teachers and after-school programs for K-12 students that are modeled on the undergraduate Science and Cooking course developed by David Weitz and Michael Brenner.

In 2022, the MRSEC engaged high school students and teachers through in-person workshops on science in cooking via summer, afterschool, and weekend programs. For example, REU students, Breanna Thompson (Navajo Tech) and Christina Perry (Southern University and A&M College) led a one-day workshop at Harvard for visiting Native American High School students on the science of tortillas and the science of boba tea, tying these concepts to food and culture, as well as physics, engineering, and chemistry concepts.

The Science Behind Cheese

David A. Weitz (Physics & Applied Physics), Kathryn A. Hollar (Engineering & Applied Sciences), Pia Sorensen (Applied Mathematics), and Kate Strangfeld (Bite Scized Education)
2022-2023 Harvard MRSEC (DMR-2011754)