Wave 7 - STEM

Welcome to wave 7 - 35 STEM activities/resources to support remote learning at home. Select the activities that best suit your needs! They are divided into two: those that take less time and/or are less complex, and those that take more time and/or are more complex.

Here's a range of activities, each divided into less/more time and complexity. The focus is on STEM: science (nutrition science, food science, sensory science), technology and engineering, and mathematics.  There are also links to a number of PPD opportunities around STEM along with further sources of information and resources.


Science - nutrition science

Less time / Less complex

1.Healthy diet: Let’s get interactive with our online Eatwell game! Click and drag the foods into the correct food groups on The Eatwell Guide. You can learn more about the Eatwell Guide with our interactive Eatwell Guide. Make a list of notes on each of the food groups.

2. Nutrients: How much do you know about nutrients? Create an infographic on either macronutrients or micronutrients. Focus on the definition of each nutrient, how much we need and what foods provide them.

3. Energy for activity: Use this interactive activity to match the energy used by different activities. There are ten to do, how many did you get? When you have finished, create your own activity matching game using the information here.

More time / More complex

4. Comparing energy values of different foods: How much energy is provided by different food? Find up to 10 items of food in your cupboard/kitchen which have a back-of-pack and a front-of-pack nutrition label (e.g. cheese, yogurt, breakfast cereal). List the name of each food and make a note of the amount of energy (calories) provided by 100g (from the back-of-pack label). Next, look at the front-of-pack label and note the recommended portion size given and calculate the amount of energy in one portion of food (if not provided). Arrange the food in descending order of energy per 100g and per portion. Compare the two lists - is there any pattern to the food that provides the most or least energy?

5. Digestion: Use this interactive labelling activity to label the stages of the digestive system. If you can’t use the interactive activity, try the Label the digestive system worksheet and the Digestion functions worksheet. You can use the interactive Digestion stages heat map for more information.

6. Health issues: Let’s keep our teeth healthy in lockdown! Limiting sugar-containing food and drink to mealtimes is one way to reduce the incidence of caries and tooth decay. See if you can line up the amount of free sugars in food in order from highest to lowest using our Interactive sugar line up. If you can’t use the interactive activity, use the worksheet and answers.


Science - food science

Less time / Less complex

1. Make your own cheese. Warm 500ml whole milk and add the juice of 1 lemon – as you stir you’ll see lumps form (the ‘curd’). Do not boil! Remove from the heat and leave for 5-10 minutes. Strain the milk through a clean cloth, in a sieve/colander, over a bowl. Wrap the cloth over the ‘cheese’ and gently press to remove the liquid (whey).  If you like, add other flavours such as herbs and spices. Pop the cheese in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy it.

2. Make an emulsion. An emulsion is a mix of two liquids, such as oil and vinegar (which do not mix), combined into one. To do this they need an emulsifier. Examples of an emulsion are salad dressing and mayonnaise. Let’s make an emulsion – a dressing! Whisk together 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 teaspoons vinegar and 6 teaspoons oil. If you’ve got an empty jar, shake everything together 50 times! Enjoy a little over a salad.

3. What’s happening? When we prepare and cook food, a number of changes happen. For the following dishes, create a chart showing: each stage of making; what’s happening to the physical appearance of the food; and, why you think the changes are happening. Extra marks for using food science terms!

  • Scrambled eggs on toast.
  • Freshly baked wholemeal bread.
  • Cauliflower cheese (with homemade cheese sauce).

More time / More complex

4. Functional review: List 4 foods that use each of the food functions below. Describe what foods are being use, how the function works and how it can be applied to everyday cooking.

  • Glaze
  • Thicken
  • Set
  • Aerate

5. What’s gone wrong Paul Hollywood? Watch these four videos showing what’s gone wrong with bread, cakes, pastry and pancakes. For each video, produce a fact sheet showing how to ensure the perfect dish. Highlight the different aspects of food science. Click here to watch.

6. Feel the heat! When food is cooked, heat is transferred from a source in three different ways – conduction, convection and radiation. View this presentation and complete the worksheet. In addition, name four dishes for each method of heat transfer.


Science - sensory science

Less time / Less complex

1. To eat or not to eat! The appearance of food is important to our enjoyment of it.  Ask your friends or family to name 3 foods they would eat and three foods they wouldn’t eat. For each food, ask them to give reasons based on the food’s appearance.

2. Taste detective: We can detect five basic tastes. Test yourself and your family to identify the basic tastes – here's some examples:

  • bitter – tonic water, black coffee, broccoli/sprouts, orange rind (the white pith in particular), cocoa powder;
  • salty – salt, miso, soy sauce;
  • sour – sliced lime/lemon, natural yogurt, sauerkraut, vinegar;
  • sweet – sugar, ripe fruit such as peaches, strawberries, blueberries;
  • umami – strong Cheddar/parmesan cheese, yeast extract, cooked sausages.

3. Taste and flavour: Do you know the difference between taste and flavour? When eating food, the odour combines with the taste to give flavour. The texture, or mouthfeel, of a food may also help us recognise what it is. An experiment to test the difference between taste and flavour involves eating a pear. Wash the pear and cut into bite-sized pieces. Ask a family member to close their eyes and give them two pieces of pear. Don’t tell them what it is! Ask them to hold their noses tightly and eat one piece of pear. Ask them if they can tell what it is.  Ask them to release their noses and then continue to chew. Can they now tell what it is? Repeat with the second piece of pear.  You could also try a ginger biscuit, a raspberry, a piece of cheese, cooked bacon or cooked sausage.

More time / More complex

4. Sensory vocabulary: There are five senses used when tasting food and drink: sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. Find three food or drink items in your home, for example cheese, apple, bread, crackers or milk. Taste the food or drink and, using your five senses, describe the appearance, smell, taste, sound and texture.  Use good descriptive vocabulary – the Using your senses poster will help with this.

5. Sensory evaluation and food production: Sensory evaluation is used by manufacturers throughout the development and production of the food. View the Sensory evaluation presentation and complete a sensory evaluation of your lunch or evening meal. Use the Hedonic scale worksheet to record your results.

6. Smell! The olfactory system is the sensory system used for olfaction, or the sense of smell. View the presentation to find out more and complete the worksheet. To check your knowledge, complete the Olfactory system quiz. The answers can be found here.


Technology and engineering

Less time / Less complex

1. Lovely lunches: Create a breakfast pot for you and your family. Make it colourful with layers of sliced or chopped fruit, natural or low-fat yogurt, oats or a wholegrain breakfast cereal. Mix it all together or eat as it is!

2. Fish to fingers: Watch the Golden fish fingers video. List the different steps and processes used in their production – describe what is happening at each stage.  Watch the Fish goujons – cooking at home video and compare the two ways to make fish fingers.

3. Social and technological changes: There have been a number of social and technological changes which have had a significant impact on the way we all buy, store and cook food. View the Social and technological changes presentation and list how these changes have affected the food people buy and eat. Compare your family’s usual shopping habits to those of your parents or carers when they were your age.

More time / More complex

4. Your daily bread: Bread is bought by 99.8% of British households, and the equivalent of nearly 11 million loaves are sold each day. Do you know how bread is made on such a large scale? Watch the video to find out. Make your own Quick bread buns. As you make your bread, consider the difference in the equipment needed to make bread on a large and small scale.

5. New product development: Effective new product design allows a company to respond quickly to consumer trends. View the New product development presentation and complete the worksheet. Find a food or drink item at home and list at least five ways it could be developed to create something new. Would the new food or drink appeal to the same target market as the original one? If not, explain how you have extended the product range to appeal to a new market.

6. Design and make: Create a main meal dish suitable for a teenager that they could share with friends. Your dish should:

  • be a main meal dish;
  • be suitable for a teenager;
  • contain at least two portions of fruit and/or vegetables;
  • contain ingredients from the Beans pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins food group;
  • contain ingredients from the Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates food group. (Aim to use wholegrain where possible.)

Complete the Create a dish planning and evaluation worksheet.



Less time / less complex

1. Adding, multiplying and dividing: Complete the Function junction and Fractions worksheets to explore multiplying and dividing foods with your favourite Learn with stories friends. You can then use the Fishy fractions worksheet to practice your fractions.

 2. Weighing and measuring: There’s something fishy going on! Work on your weighing and measuring with Ray Skate and the Learn with stories characters. Use a ruler and the Measuring worksheet to measure the length of each fish and learn about using scales to weigh with the What is the weight? worksheet.

3. Costings: How much does it cost? Learn about adding up the cost of different food with the Add it up worksheet. As an extension, you can use the Costing your own super sandwich worksheet.

More time / more complex

4. Nutritional analysis: What’s in your lockdown lunch? Watch the Nutritional analysis – why and how presentation to find out why nutritional analysis is important. Using Explore Food enter all the food and drink you had for lunch to calculate the energy and nutrients provided. Make a note of the energy, fat, carbohydrate, protein, fibre and sugar in your diet. As an extension, tackle these nutritional analysis problems – click here.

5. Coordinates: Complete the Bread coordinates worksheet to learn about how to write coordinates. Make your own coordinates grid and draw out a grid of 10 squares by 10 squares on a piece of paper and label each column and row. Draw ten dots on different parts of the grid and label them with your favourite types of food. List the coordinates of each food.

6. Estimating portion sizes: Dig out the weighing scales and let’s get measuring! Pour your usual amount of breakfast cereal into a bowl, estimate how much you have put in and then weigh it. How does the amount weighed compare to the recommended portion size on the pack (usually 30g-45g)? Pour the recommended portion size into another bowl and compare the two. Discuss the difference and how this might impact nutrient intake. If you don’t have any breakfast cereal, you can do this activity with lots of other types of food, for example dried pasta or rice.



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