Ontario Farming STEMterprise
A unique curriculum-based program that helps Ontario students develop STEM skills as they learn where our food comes from.
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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.
- 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
Students will explore and identify food origins, including Ontario grains. They will work in teams to learn about plant parts and present their findings.
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.
- Design a brand and logo
- Understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet
- Analyze existing products in the market
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.
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.
- Notice plants’ characteristics, similarities, differences
- Understand plants’ basic needs and where they are grown
- Discuss environmental conditions
Applying math skills/literacy to monitor plant growth, students will chart plant progress and determine whether their investigation is a fair test.
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.
- Understand the importance of soil and soil health
- Understand soil composition
- Assess human impact on soils and how farmers maintain soil health
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.
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.
- Practise engineering design
- Learn farming processes to produce crops
- Learn about farming equipment
- Review environmental impact of agriculture
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.
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.
- Learn why grains are important in a healthy diet
- Design flavours for their market
- Understand sourcing local ingredients
- Use data to make decisions
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.
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.
- Produce granola bars to sell
- Prepare ingredients safely
- Measure ingredients accurately
- Use fractions to halve ingredients
- Write instructions
Students will apply math skills to make their granola bars by measuring ingredients and halving recipes. They will evaluate their work using prepared prompts.
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.
- Decide on a selling price for the granola bars
- Calculate the potential profit
- Design marketing materials and packaging
- Promote a food product
Students will examine promotional material to help them design their own. They will consider cost of production, food miles, and nutritional benefits.
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.
- Set up a farm store and sell their product
- Present the story of their business experience
- Calculate totals with money and give change
Students will rehearse selling and buying, calculating totals, and giving change before the sale. They will display their projects as they sell their bars.
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