The Kitchen Laboratory, located within the Franklin Learning Center instructional area, provides a wonderful opportunity for students to observe and practice functional life skills useful in the kitchen. Furnished with a refrigerator, stove, and sink, students are able to practice independence with culinary utensils, kitchen appliances, and food preparation. Many cooking activities have been modified with adaptive equipment and assistive switches not found in most homes so that all may participate in the process.
Classrooms sign up for the laboratory on a weekly basis to prepare, consume, and clean up following the creation of many different types of foods, snacks, and drinks. Often, the selected recipe correlates to a specific lesson theme such as alphabet letters, holiday events, food groups, or cultural studies. Students incorporate reading and math skills as they learn to follow recipes, measure ingredients, set temperatures, and prepare food. In addition, safety with heat sources, sharp objects, and fragile items are taught and practiced. At times, students prepare recipes to share with other classes and staff, thus practicing their customer service skills and safe food-handling techniques.
The highlight of each session is enjoying the finished product. What a delicious delight it is to learn in the Kitchen Laboratory!