Chocolate Class.

first_imgA new college student may be a little leery of signing up fora biology or accounting course. But what student wouldn’t warmup to a class called Chocolate Science.At the University of Georgia, food science professor Rob Shewfeltdeveloped the chocolate class to entice students into the worldof food science. Actually a freshman seminar, the class meetsjust one day a week, on Tuesdays, for one hour.”Some freshman classes have as many as 300 students inthem, but freshman seminars are limited to the first 15 to signup,” said Shewfelt, a professor in the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences.”We intentionally keep the classes small,” he said,”to permit one-on-one interaction with a senior faculty member.”Surprisingly, there’s just one food science major on the classrole. Most of the students are business, biology or journalismmajors.Finding A Topic That Turns Them On”Freshmen are so great to work with, because they aregenuinely interested in learning, particularly when you find atopic, like chocolate, that turns them on,” Shewfelt said.Chris Lady signed up for the class because he loves chocolateand “it looked like an easy class.” Teri Brady wantedto learn about the inner and outer workings of the chocolate worldand get to eat chocolate in class.Both students will get what they expect from the class, andmore. The class is a pass/fail class where students are just requiredto attend and participate in order to pass.And they do eat chocolate. During a recent class, the studentstasted all the current M&M chocolate candies and ranked themaccording to the class’s favorites and least favorites.”Every class, we taste at least three different typesof chocolate,” Shewfelt said.Chocolate motivates the students to sign up. But what’s Shewfelt’smotivation for teaching it?Recruiting for Georgia’s Food Industry”Our state needs more food science graduates,” hesaid. “Virtually every food company in Georgia has one ofour graduates working for them and we need more graduates to meetthe food industry’s demands.”Shewfelthopes the chocolate class will persuade students to consider becomingfood science majors or tell their friends, who might then considerfood science as a major. Either way, the class is beneficial toother majors, especially business students.The class textbook is “Emperors of Chocolate,” byJoel Glenn Brenner. It details the long-standing rival betweenthe M&M Mars and Hershey companies.”Using this book I can teach the students about businessissues such as marketing, corporate culture and consolidation,as well as social issues such as child slavery in cocoa harvesting,”Shewfelt said.”They learn there are many, many steps between harvestingand packaging,” he said. “And they learn about all ofthe many ingredients that go into chocolate.”Shewfelt uses chocolate, too, to teach students the more seriousaspects of food science:* The complex steps required to manufacture food.* The tests necessary to make sure chocolate is safe to eat.* Nutritional problems associated with overconsumption of chocolate.* And how new and unusual chocolate products are developed.”Teaching is a matter of connecting minds,” Shewfeltsaid. “I use chocolate to rouse their curiosity, which thenleads them to ask questions. While answering their questions,I am able to teach them the basic principles.”last_img read more

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub Website Goes Live

first_imgThe Offshore Wind Innovation Hub (OWIH) has launched its new website which includes an evidence-based identification of UK offshore wind innovation priorities, supply chain growth opportunities and a view of the funding landscape.The Hub, and its first programme the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange (OWIX), is backed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered jointly by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network.The Hub’s website will act as the focal point for the UK offshore wind industry and the public sector – providing government and industry with evidence-based and validated information on the key innovation priorities within the sector and impact these can have.It will also provide information on the national and international funding programmes available for technology development and will build consortia of organisations who can collectively address the innovation priorities identified.“The OWIH has an important role to play in helping the UK’s technology-based businesses seize the tremendous opportunities in the offshore wind market,” Dr Stephen Wyatt, Research & Disruptive Innovation Director at ORE Catapult, said.”It will ensure that the UK’s world-class technologies and services remain at the forefront of innovation and are promoted internationally, further growing the UK’s leading global position in offshore wind. The OWIH and OWiX are critical tools in drawing new disruptive technologies into the sector from the UK’s most innovative companies, and in bringing industry together to align behind the sector’s innovation priorities.”last_img read more