Sundae School lessons

Krystle Wagner • Jul 22, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Local ice cream shops have turned into classrooms this week.

About 100 students in grades 1-5 are participating in Sundae School, offered by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District as part of its futurePrep’d summer program.

Although the students get to taste-test toppings and develop ice cream treats, their overall goal is focused on developing sundaes that will attract customers to the business they are working with this week.

During the four-day program, they will develop various flavor combinations and learn about marketing with customer research. Once research is gathered, the kids will develop a plan and taste-test sundaes until they find one they think customers will most enjoy.

“Your job is to create the best sundae that you can,” Andrew Ratke, a Mary A. White Elementary School teacher and co-team leader at The Pump House, told his students.

Twelve teams throughout Ottawa County are participating in the program, and they will present their sundaes to a panel of judges on Thursday. Judges will base their decisions on how the sundae tastes, its appearance, if people would buy it and how well it’s communicated to them.

It’s the second year the intermediate school district has offered the program.

Jason Pasatta, development director for career and technical development for OAISD, said the program stems from educators looking at different ways to approach student learning.

Pasatta said he was impressed with how much creativity the students showed during last year’s program. One Hamilton team created a Detroit Tigers-themed sundae. They used vanilla ice cream, blueberry sauce and crushed Cheetos on top.

A Spring Lake group’s breakfast-themed sundae also left a lasting impression. It included waffles, bacon, whipped cream and strawberries.

Although they featured unique combinations, Pasatta said the sundaes were good.

Before taste testing, The Pump House team considered what concerns and pitfalls they might run into, such as how it will taste and if someone is allergic to their toppings. Abby Phelps said it is important to keep in mind that too many toppings would overpower each other.

As the team continues to develop their sundae, Katie Snyder said she’s looking forward to presenting it to the judges, family and friends.

“Maybe they will like it,” she said.


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