FALLBROOK – The week before Christmas, students in the foods and nutrition classes at Fallbrook High School were busy creating delicious and beautiful food gifts for their family and friends. For three days, all 125 foods students were baking holiday cookies, candies, breads, cakes, and novelty treats to give holiday cheer to their favorite people. With all this productivity, the foods lab truly looked like Santa’s bake shop!
Senior Sarina Powney, who works as a teacher’s assistant in the sixth period class, said, “My favorite lab when I took the class last year was the gift lab, because it is a completely individual project that allows you to be as creative as you’d like. I also liked that the lab lasted three days, so I was able to make multiple recipes without there being too much of a time crunch, and of course being able to give the stuff you make away to your friends as a gift is wonderful.”
Embedded in the making of gingerbread men, windowpane cookies, and challah bread wreaths, Lynette Shires’ students practiced the all-important career skills of time management, teamwork, leadership, responsibility, reliability, critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
According to para professional II George Jauss, “Ms. Shires’ gift lab gives all of the students the fast-paced experience of, not just working in the food industry, but working in the food industry during the holiday season. Although the lab experience is a great time for students, there is a huge academic experience taking place here that students can realistically apply and one day relate to.”
This annual project was much anticipated by the students and was designed so students also practiced the strategies of successful project planning and management. After each student chose the recipes he or she wanted to make, they applied their knowledge of time management and create a three-day work schedule in which they created their ladder of tasks to insure their plan was easy to follow.
Then they visualized themselves successfully doing their plan so they became familiar and comfortable with what needed to be accomplished each day. Visualization also helped insure they didn’t forget any steps or supplies. Weston Jones, a freshman, said, “This lab is probably the best lab yet. We get to imagine what we want to make and then make it. I’ve learned to check all of my ingredients twice to make sure I don’t forget anything. This class is awesome!”
“I love this project” said Shires. “It is right on so many levels. Students have the opportunity to make awesome food gifts, practice important skills, and create products they are very proud of. And, most important to the students, have a wonderful time doing it!”
For senior Emily Sachs, “Ms. Shires’ cooking class would probably have to be my favorite class out of the day. I think my favorite lab would have to be the apple pie lab, since we all had to work hard as a team to get everything done. A close second though, is this gift lab, since everything is in organized chaos. Everybody is doing everything, and all of our finished projects look beautiful and are given to people as gifts. It’s wonderful!”
The foods and nutrition class is part of the Career Technical Education (CTE) Program at Fallbrook High School. This is just one of the many hands-on, career preparation classes available to the students.
Jauss also said, “One of the students I work with, who will not be able to go to college, said that after working in Ms. Shires’ class he wants to work in a fast food, and or sit down restaurant. He told me, ‘I could really do this, and do it good. I know now what I want to do after high school. I want to work at a restaurant.'”
FUHS offers a full CTE program including classes in fashion design, fashion merchandising, foods & nutrition, restaurant careers, agriculture, metal/tool machining, auto mechanics, cabinetmaking, TV tech, video production, & computer training. All courses directly prepare students for 21st century jobs and careers.
For more information about this dynamic CTE program, contact Lita Tabish, CTE department chair, at (760) 723-6300.