Kids engage in molecular gastronomy summer science program

Mike DeNardo
August 01, 2018 - 6:02 pm
A dozen students studying molecular gastronomy at the University City Science Center's FirstHand program altered the color or texture of a food to learn the effect on taste.

Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A five-week summer science program at the University City Science Center wrapped up Wednesday with a taste test.

E.M. Stanton Elementary School seventh-grader Jayla Pugh stood behind bowls of pink- and green-colored marshmallow dip.

"We have one without the secret ingredient and one with it," she said.

A dozen students studying molecular gastronomy at the FirstHand program altered the color or texture of a food to learn the effect on taste.  

"The best answer is one that is really unique and never discovered before — or at least hasn't hit the food shelves yet," said  Maya Heiland, program manager.

After a taste test, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera identified the mystery ingredient as cayenne pepper. He said exposing kids to careers in science is essential for workforce development.

"They're engaging, they're learning," he said, "and really through experiential learning, are engaging with a better focus on future opportunities."