Friday, April 6, 2012

Biology teacher stirs up class with cook-off

Emory biology teacher Jennifer Kovacs wanted to give her beginning students more than just a taste of plant physiology. So she created a Top Chef-style cooking competition. Teams of students had to create a dish from one of two categories: Roots, fruits and shoots or angiosperms and gymnosperms.

“Science is everywhere,” Kovacs says, explaining that she wants her students to think about biology outside of the classroom, and how it applies to their every day lives.

The six judges of the competition, including scientists and Emory’s executive chef, evaluated the entries based on creativity, science explanation, taste and presentation. The prize: 30 bonus points on the final exam.

“I’ve never been presented with an incentive that big to cook,” says student Vijay Balakrishnan, who didn’t win, but learned how to make a fruit flan.

Great teacher thrives in a unique habitat

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