By Anne O’Connor
TOWNSEND — The wonder of chemistry can turn a bowl of scummy, stinky water into an aromatic loaf of bread.
Hawthorne Brook Middle School experienced part of the transformation first-hand during a visit from King Arthur Flour on Jan. 28.
Fourth- and fifth-graders listened and watched closely as Amy Driscoll led two students in demonstrating the process.
Along the way, she imparted other knowledge. Students were eager to volunteer answers to her questions.
Yeast is dormant while it is in the package. She asked what dormant meant. The scummy, stinky water formed when the years came alive made bubbles as the yeast activated.
The audience was able to see the yeast activity from distant rows. A camera trained on the mixing bowl connected with a large screen above the table.
Students identified what the yeast needed for nutrients. They chose the proper tools to measure wet and dry ingredients.
“It is a beautiful program,” said Judy Brown, the fifth-grade science teacher who organized this year’s visit.
Not only do the students learn the practical skills needed to bake bread, the second stage of the activity brings in another important lesson – service learning.
Each student brings a baking kit with materials donated by King Arthur home. Over the weekend they are tasked with involving their families in baking two loaves of bread.
One loaf is for eating, the other for donating. The new bakers brought the loaves to school on Monday for seniors in the community
This is the second time the bakers have come to the school, said Vice Principal Sandi Shepherd-Gay.
The Bake for Good program is funded by King Arthur Flour at no cost to the school except volunteer time, she said. A group got together to package the baking kits the students received.
The January 2014 visit was organized by parent Suzanne LaBombard.
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