Wilson, 10, is participating in a program called Sundae School through the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. During the first-year program, students are challenged with creating a sundae that would increase business sales.
Overall, 90 students and 22 teachers from the intermediate school district are involved in the program and partnering with ice cream shops throughout the county. Tri-Cities groups are working at the Temptations, Front Porch and Skoops ice cream shops.
On July 24, students will present their products to a panel of judges.
Wilson said she wanted to participate in Sundae School because of her creative flair.
“I like creating new flavors,” she said.
Before taste testing, students hit the streets to ask community members what toppings they prefer — or which breakfast foods they enjoy, in the case of the group led by Holmes Elementary School teachers Kathy Britton and Kathy Vander Meulen. Britton and Vander Meulen said their group used breakfast foods — such as waffles and bacon — to find a niche in the community.
Once students sifted through responses, they created their own sundae recipes. From there, they narrowed down their favorite sundae to market.
While Sundae School offers a fun, hands-on learning activity, it also provides teachers with the chance to learn more about project-based learning.
Jenn Knittel, a Spring Lake High School teacher who helped lead some Sundae School training, said teachers attend six days of training to learn about implementing the hands-on approach. She explained that once a project is introduced, students explore with the end goal in mind.
Although Sundae School is new, the intermediate school district has partnered high school students with businesses and local governments for a similar program called IChallengeU. IChallengeU is also going on this month.
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