Terra Nova: Culinarian Badge

We’ve reached the end, guys. This is the last program write-up I’ll be doing for Terra Nova, since I won’t actually be there for the party (I will post some pics and reactions from our teens, though, because it looks like such a cool event my supervisor is planning for them).

Our last food-based program this summer was making rock candy, something I’d never done before, although it sounds like a pretty common experiment in some school science/home ec classes. I used these instructions for reference, and we set it up assembly-line style – I heated water up to boiling in our electric kettle, and poured some into everyone’s jar that had been pre-food colored. Then the teens were on their own for stirring in sugar and clipping in their sticks to the lip of the jars.

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This ended up being almost a pop-up program, when I set things up there weren’t a lot of interested parties but I definitely attracted more kids the longer I had stuff going on. Eventually I had to turn a couple kids away because I ran out of jars! (I always feel bad about doing that, but as any librarian can tell you, our supplies aren’t limitless and we gotta encourage people to be on time.)

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I gotta tell you guys…this one was messy. We got sugar everywhere, and toward the end of the day someone spilled one of the jars all over the table. And I was surprised at how many kids left their jars behind at the end of the day! (To be fair, on a normal day we would have been happy to hang on to the jars for a better time to take them home, but we’ve got a small fly problem right now and can’t have sugar water sitting out).

I kinda wish I’d made one the week before, to have an example of fully grown rock candy to show them – it might have made it more compelling to keep better track of their jars. But in general, it was indicative of all our food and science programs this summer – fun, involved, and pulling in kids we don’t normally see.

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