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Milestone 1: Entry Event
Milestone 2: Research and Planning
Milestone 3: Product Development
Milestone 4: Final Presentation
food preservation: the process of treating and handling food in such a way as to stop, control, or greatly slow down spoilage and to minimize the possibility of foodborne illness while maintaining the optimum nutritional value, texture, and flavor
freeze-drying: a way to preserve food that removes about 98% of the moisture content
Spice-up Space Food is a Project-Based Learning Plan (PBL). PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.1 A quality PBL experience requires seven essential elements.
Food in Space
The processes of freeze drying started in the Andes Mountains. People would take crops up to higher elevations and leave them to freeze for days.3 As the vegetable lost water content, the nutritional value remained. This allowed for the preservation and storage of food for emergencies. While we still use freeze drying as a way to preserve food, its current primary purpose is for space food and use in the military.
As we continue to send people into space and travel further from Earth, providing quality and nutritious foods is important. Since the first mission into space, food has improved and continues to improve. Several factors need to be considered while eating space.
Many astronauts share their concern that the food in space doesn't taste as good. Since there is no gravity, astronauts often feel like they have a head cold.4 This causes a reduced sense of taste and smell in space. Due to this reduced sense of taste, astronauts often want to add more seasoning. This is easy when the seasoning is in liquid form. Granulated seasonings cannot be used in space since they could float away and possibly get stuck in equipment.
With so much equipment in space, everything needs to be compact and easy to use. This includes food. Food must be lightweight and easy to store and reheat. As food scientists create food to send into space, these challenges must be considered.
At the beginning of the project, students are introduced to key content using a compelling situation that provides context and serves as a catalyst for an authentic problem or challenge. In Project-Based Learning (PBL), this authentic problem/challenge is referred to as an "Entry Event." Students use the Entry Event to initiate inquiry by reflecting on their prior knowledge of the key content, generating questions that they need to know the answers to in order to successfully complete the project or process that will solve the problem, and identifying what their next steps might be to answer their questions. These questions are used in an ongoing way throughout the project to track learning and guide inquiry.5 While students may have several questions, one driving question needs to be agreed upon that, when answered, should address the initial situation. Refer to Milestone 1 for Entry Event procedures.
In PBL, projects are organized into milestones. Each milestone represents a significant stage of the project. Click on each milestone below to access instructional procedures.
Milestone 1: Entry Event (approximately 2 days)
Milestone 2: Research and Planning (approximately 2 days)
Milestone 3: Product Development (approximately 3 days)
Milestone 4: Final Presentation (approximately 2 days)
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:
As a final wrap-up, review and summarize the following key points:
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
CCA PBL Team