January Haile (Centre College, USA)
Chemistry and food, a first-year seminar course, was designed to meet the general education criteria: engage students in an intensive intellectual experience while fostering basic educational skills—reading critically, thinking logically, and effective communication. Students complete this general education requirement during the three-week January term. The course focused on the chemical composition of food and chemical changes involved with food preparation. Students also discussed ethical issues surround food production. To achieve the goals of the course, students preformed experiments utilizing basic scientific knowledge. In addition, each student was a member of a group responsible for executing, producing, and editing a 30-minute segment of a cooking show that explained the chemistry behind their chosen cooking experiments. To engage the students in discussions regarding the ethics of food, we explored the use of genetically modified organisms in our food supply, and we visited a local meat processing plant as a class.