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Maui Teachers Cook Up
Fractions With Culinary Math

Posted 10:43 AM HST, June 8, 2011

By Wendy Osher

Joy Cabatu, Joanne Kong and Nalani Caulford (left to right), photo courtesy UH Maui College.

Maui teachers put their math skills to the test in a workshop at the University of Hawai’i Maui College (UHMC), Maui Culinary Academy.

The idea of introducing teachers to hands-on activities that relate to math and real world culinary experiences was proposed by project coordinator Glen Oura of the Department of Education (DOE).

“The teachers in the workshop were extremely pleased with the learning outcomes and practical skills they acquired to help teach their students the relevance of math in everyday life situations,” said Oura.

“The students always ask us, ‘Why do I need to know this?’,” said Marilyn Pascher, a teacher at Haiku Elementary. “The more answers we have, the more they trust us.”

Marilyn Pascher from Haiku Elementary learns how to chop ratios, photo courtesy UH Maui College.

During the three-day training session high school and grade school teachers on Maui practiced and applied math principles to fundamental cooking and food preparation.

Maui Culinary Academy Chef Instructor Dean Louie led the teachers through culinary activities aimed at enhancing cookery skills and understanding of culinary math.

In addition to ratios and portioning, Chef Dean, “explained that even the smallest task such as the sharpening of knives integrates math, through the use of proper angles,” said Lynette Zakazi from Lokelani School.

Dishes prepared by the teachers, were then critiqued by Chef Louie in “Iron Chef” fashion on taste, presentation, correct portioning and profitability.

The project was made possible through a grant from the Maui Math Professional Development Project. DOE coordinators say they hope to continue the UHMC Culinary partnership during the winter holiday, and again next summer.

*** Supporting information courtesy UH Maui College.


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