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Ontario Farming STEMterprise

A unique curriculum-based program that helps Ontario students develop STEM skills as they learn where our food comes from.

Got a question for the Good in Every Classroom team? Send us an email to web@gfo.ca.

Putting STEM to work

Students will become plant experts first as they learn about the ingredients for the food product they will develop and sell. They will apply their STEM skills to engineer innovative farming equipment, design packaging, and ultimately sell their product in their own business. The program is adaptable to the individual classroom and meets objectives across Ontario’s curriculum.

Project Overview Quickstart Guide Curriculum Alignment

Recommended grades: Aligned to Ontario’s Grade 3 curriculum

Resources: It’s a simple-to-use plug-and-play program complete with lesson plans, videos, slides, printables and worksheets

Time: Varies (45min to 3 hours per stage)

Curriculum connections: Science and Technology, Health and Physical Education, Engineering, Language, and Math

Transferable skills: Entrepreneurship, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Innovation, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and more!

Additional information: Opportunity for a session with a farmer to discuss growing crops and how farmers work to protect the environment. Educators can order free seed kits to be used in stage 3


STEMterprise lesson plans and resources

Click on the stage titles below to expand details and materials.

Download All MATERIALS

Stage 1: Becoming a Plant Expert

Introduction to the project and challenge to design, develop, and make a new granola bar. Students will become plant experts to understand how to grow and harvest the grain ingredients they need.

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss where food comes from
  • Identify and describe the major parts of plants and how each helps the plant survive
  • Explore ingredients of granola bars

Stage overview:

Students will explore and identify food origins, including Ontario grains. They will work in teams to learn about plant parts and present their findings.

Resources

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 2: Starting a Business

Students will design their logos and product names, then assess the competition with a taste test. The activity promotes inclusivity by ensuring the broadest range of student experience.

Learning objectives:

  • Design a brand and logo
  • Understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet
  • Analyze existing products in the market

Stage overview:

Students will apply their learning to determine the nutritional benefits of their product to brand it as a healthy snack and then prepare a marketing strategy.

Resources

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 3: Growing Our Ingredients from Seeds

Students will experience growing the plants used in their granola bars to give them a true understanding of their ingredients and an engaging purpose for their plant learning.

Learning objectives:

  • Notice plants’ characteristics, similarities, differences
  • Understand plants’ basic needs and where they are grown
  • Discuss environmental conditions

Stage overview:

Applying math skills/literacy to monitor plant growth, students will chart plant progress and determine whether their investigation is a fair test.

Resources

Order free seed kits

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 4: Coming in 2024!

Stage 5: Soil in the Environment

Students will learn why healthy soil is needed for healthy plants. They will explore different soil types using a choice of activity options for both inside and outside the classroom.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the importance of soil and soil health
  • Understand soil composition
  • Assess human impact on soils and how farmers maintain soil health

Stage overview:

To understand that soil health affects the well-being of plants and ultimately our food supply, students will explore how plants get nutrients and how farmers protect soil.

Resources

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 6: Designing an Innovative Farming Machine

Students will learn about the engineering design process to solve a problem and help farmers farm with sustainable equipment. They will design their own innovative farming machine.

Learning objectives:

  • Practise engineering design
  • Learn farming processes to produce crops
  • Learn about farming equipment
  • Review environmental impact of agriculture

Stage overview:

Working in groups, students will learn what farmers do to produce crops and how equipment impacts soil conditions. They will invent a machine to reduce the soil impact from farm equipment.

Resources

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 7: Designing a Healthy Recipe & Conducting Market Research

Students will develop their own granola bar recipes, design market research surveys, display the results, and use the data they collect to inform their decisions about what product they will make.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn why grains are important in a healthy diet
  • Design flavours for their market
  • Understand sourcing local ingredients
  • Use data to make decisions

Stage overview:

Students will learn about Ontario grains and work in groups to produce a granola bar, survey the market, and use what they learn to design a marketing strategy.

Resources

Lesson plan & worksheets:

PDF MS WORD (Worksheets only)

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 8: Making Granola Bars

Students will work in groups to make their granola bars, following their own recipe from stage 7 and measuring carefully. They will review and practise safety while preparing food.

Learning objectives:

  • Produce granola bars to sell
  • Prepare ingredients safely
  • Measure ingredients accurately
  • Use fractions to halve ingredients
  • Write instructions

Stage overview:

Students will apply math skills to make their granola bars by measuring ingredients and halving recipes. They will evaluate their work using prepared prompts.

Resources

Lesson plan:

PDF

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 9: Market Your Product

Students will discuss food prices in a real-life context and be introduced to the idea of profit. They will design marketing materials using responsible packaging and decide where their proceeds will go.

Learning objectives:

  • Decide on a selling price for the granola bars
  • Calculate the potential profit
  • Design marketing materials and packaging
  • Promote a food product

Stage overview:

Students will examine promotional material to help them design their own. They will consider cost of production, food miles, and nutritional benefits.

Resources

Lesson plan:

PDF

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

Stage 10: Bake Sale

Students will have the opportunity to showcase their business experience and sell their granola bars to an audience of teachers, fellow students, and guests, such as parents and prominent people in the community.

Learning objectives:

  • Set up a farm store and sell their product
  • Present the story of their business experience
  • Calculate totals with money and give change

Stage overview:

Students will rehearse selling and buying, calculating totals, and giving change before the sale. They will display their projects as they sell their bars.

Resources

Lesson plan:

PDF

Slideshow presentation:

PDF PowerPoint

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