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BALLSTON SPA — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County will be hosting a workshop on April 11 for anyone who’s ever considered making and selling food or their favorite recipes. The workshop will include speakers from Cornell University Food Venture Center, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, NY Kitchen Company Food Consultant, SCORE Business Marketing and Counseling, Healthy Living Market, and more.

The workshop is a day-long crash course beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Topics covered include getting permission and licensing to sell your food product at retail locations, making sure your food product is safe, becoming a small-scale food processor, the value of a good business plan, marketing, insurance requirements and getting your food on the shelf. 

“I was getting quite a few calls every year about people who wanted to start a small food business selling their own you know, salad dressings or baked goods and they wanted to know how to go about it so I decided to put together a workshop,” Diane Whitten, Food and Nutrition Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and organizer of the workshop. 

“It could include anyone who wants to sell jam from their farm stand or somebody who wants to sell frozen food through Price Chopper,” Whitten added. 

This is the third time the workshop has taken place, and roughly 50 to 60 have been in attendance each year according to Whitten. 

According to Whitten most foods, aside from baked goods and jellies in jams, have the potential to be hazardous. 

“Like if you want to sell your own Kimchi, those are foods that have to be properly prepared so that it can be safe, to try and make a shelf-stable product,” Whitman said. 

The workshop will take place at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa. Attendance will cost $60, which includes lunch. To purchase tickets, visit ccesaratoga.org.

Published in Food

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Lake Avenue Elementary was one of 42 schools in the country selected to pilot Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) LAUNCH curriculum, in which second-grade teacher Nancy Ferguson now writes ‘engineering’ as a subject on the chalkboard along with science, math, English and writing.

With only a handful of classrooms participating in the experimental format to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) understanding at the elementary level, Ferguson said the main complaint she receives is from parents who can't get child included in the program.

The curriculum is based on introducing formatted modules to the classroom that begin with a reading component, then progresses through tiered problem solving activities, and ending with a project or ‘build’ .

The modules, which take 10-12 hours to complete during the course of the semester, allow the classroom to apply lessons from multiple subjects into a problem-solving activity, Ferguson said and added that it’s a curriculum that she would like to see continue next year. "We don’t just talk about math in isolation," she said. "We apply it."

Six classrooms, one in each grade level, have been leading their students through such modules since November to stir interest in STEM learning as well as another way to reach current common core standards.

This is the opportunity where the "playing field is leveled" for students and teachers, as Instructional Technologist as Saratoga Springs School District Jim Nair said. In areas where students may struggle in one subject, they may have a strength in others that will aid them in completing a project with their partner. All the while, the role of the teacher is been changed into that of a facilitator.

 "It can be a little chaotic in the classroom, but the energy is directed at solving the problems," he said.

The topics for the modules this year include Structure and Function of Materials, Forces, Sound and Light, Flight, Energy and Robotics.

"We are asking students to branch out in new ways and allow themselves to learn from their mistakes with the teacher acting as mentor and facilitator," Nair said. "The ongoing goal of this exciting pilot is to allow students to listen, collaborate, investigate and engineer solutions to problems using math, science and technology."

Lake Avenue Elementary is the only school in the Northeast piloting the program. Through its participation, Nair aim to help shape what the program will look like as it rolls out at other schools in the future.

Nair said that the program has so far generated a lot positive feedback from teachers, students and parents in addition to comments for where the project could be improved in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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