Young scientists proclaim wheat yummy, sticky

Posted March 13, 2015

Young scientists from a Shawnee County grade school experimented with flour in their "Wheat Science Program" to create delicious "Bread in a Bag." The students used their problem solving skills combined with math and science knowledge to bake their bread from the Kansas Wheat Commission's recipe.

"Thank you for the wonderful directions so we can participate in making the delicious healthy bread," said Melliah. "I'm glad you are here so we can make the world better than it is."

The classroom was filled with smiles and laughter as the students mixed and kneaded their bread in their plastic bags.

"Thank you for letting us make bread," said one student. "It was so much fun and really sticky and messy but so much fun."

Cooking and baking with children isn't just a fun, and delicious, time for all parties, it actually helps support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and channels a kid's natural curiosity.

"You have a great job," said Jovanne. "We will always buy some of your wheat because I want to know how much wheat does it take to make one whole bucketful."

While we don't actually sell wheat, we can satisfy Jovanne's curiosity. One bushel is equal to about 9 gallons. There are around 1 million kernels in one bushel. So if you filled a five-gallon bucket with wheat, there would be more than 550,000 kernels filling the bucket.

When a child feels the bread dough for the first time, he or she may wonder why it is sticky and elastic. (The answer? Gluten! It's a protein that forms when wheat flour and water mix. It helps dough stretch and stick together.) Or maybe the concept of why measurement is important will click for the first time. But baking has been shown to improve simple math skills, direction following, art skills and nutrition while developing sensory awareness and language skills.

"Thank you, I had a great time because that (the project) wasted school time," said Jacob. "The bread was very good, I ate it all in one day."

We're glad you enjoyed the bread, Jacob, but don't be fooled. School time wasn't wasted; we just snuck some learning in with your fun and delicious bread.

To find more information on how you can integrate wheat into your classroom's curriculum, visit our Educators page.

by Jordan Hildebrand

Teach wheat, science, math
   Participants from a local Girl Scout troop experiment with Kansas Wheat Commission's Pizza in a Bag recipe.