Cocoa-llaboration: Learning with Chocolate at Fisher Park Public School

Cocoa-llaboration: Learning with Chocolate at Fisher Park Public School
Posted on 03/01/2023
Cocoa-llaboration: Learning with Chocolate at Fisher Park Public School

This winter, Grade 8 students at Fisher Park Public School immersed themselves in a sweet learning opportunity. Around 240 students from eight different classes collaborated to launch “Fisher and the Chocolate Factory,” raising money to support programs for students in need.

Teacher Meghan Polowin was inspired to organize the project as a hands-on exploration of the fluids unit in Science class. Students learned about viscosity, density, and tempering as they developed their own chocolate recipes – with plenty of opportunities to taste-test their experiments!
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In Math class, students became entrepreneurs, learning to budget and manage finances for their chocolate business. They added flair with Technology and Visual Arts skills – 3D-printing chocolate moulds and designing packages and branding. In Language Arts and French, they wrote slogans and messages to market their product to different audiences. More than ten teachers across the school participated in the project, which was supported by the OCDSB’s Innovation and Adolescent Learning department.

The young chocolatiers also enjoyed visits from two local companies. Stubbe Chocolates taught students about the chocolate-making process – from cultivating and growing cacao, to tempering chocolate and pouring it into molds. The Merry Dairy visited to share their insights on starting and growing a business. 
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After weeks of hard work, it was time to give the school community a taste of their success. In December, the students held a showcase and opened their business for a one-day-only sale. They offered an array of creative flavours, from chocolate popcorn and caramel pretzel to strawberry ganache and rose tea. 

The chocolates flew off the shelves, and the students even made last-minute chocolate bars to meet demand. The sold-out sweets raised $740 in total – $250 was donated to the Education Foundation of Ottawa, and $490 went toward the school’s Holiday Hamper program. 

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Here’s what students had to say about their learning experience:

"It was super awesome, it was a really cool experience to have all the different components involved, and I hope kids in the future will be able to do it again." - Chesel L.

“It was a really inclusive project, very social because of the collaboration with others, it helped with real life skills because some of us are interested in business.” - Karabo E.

Ms. Polowin hopes to bring back the project next year, incorporating additional subjects and providing students with new opportunities to learn about sustainable development. “Witnessing a deep and experiential learning project come to life from its inception was almost magical,” she says. “It was exceptionally rewarding to see students engaging in a real life scenario with a legitimate practical application of skills taught and developed specifically for this project. I'm already looking forward to next year.”
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