New Foods Lab
From both a student and instructor perspective, the new foods lab is absolutely incredible! I had the privilege of teaching the final class in the old foods lab in the spring of 2013 and the first class in the new foods lab this past spring (2014). I told my students that they were making history as they participated in the last lab activity in the old foods lab. We took a few pictures to mark the day and looked forward with hopeful anticipation to seeing the new foods lab this past year.
Although I saw the blueprints for the new foods lab, I had no idea that the finished product would be so remarkable! The difference in layout, appearance, and technology between the old and new foods lab are significant. The food demonstration area is conveniently located in front of the tiered seating lab. The lab stations have both gas and induction stovetops to expose students to both types of heating. The microwaves and ovens are in the back of the lab for easy access. A three-compartment sink and commercial dishwasher allowed for quick and efficient dishwashing after lab activities. The two 65” monitors on either side of the food demonstration area were used for presentations and video demonstrations. Surround sound made the video experience even better and will be very instrumental for future demonstrations.
My students performed a variety of activities in the new foods lab this year. Some of the topics included: candy-making, grains, meat and poultry, gluten development, egg and dairy foams, baking a variety of cakes, frozen desserts, and preserving fruit and vegetables. Each lab activity required a number of different ingredients and supplies, all of which were easily found in the new foods lab.
The layout of the foods lab allowed students to work easily as a team. During the lab activities, teams divided responsibilities and made efficient use of the extra space that the lab stations provided. As I walked down the center aisle, I could easily see the progress the students were making and answer questions as needed. In addition, the students were able to participate more fully in class discussions about key principles they learned during lab. I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach in such a modern and sophisticated lab! This lab will see a lot of students come through the doors, all of which will leave with more understanding of food principles.
—Ashlee Eskelsen, MS
The Eating Laboratory
This laboratory was included in the renovation. It provides a controlled and child-friendly environment in which Dr. Samantha Ramsay’s research group can study the eating behaviors, food preferences and during-the-meal communications of children and their parents. The research team includes Amir Golmohamadi (Post-doctoral research associate), Mackenzie Ferrante and Bridget Egyir (Master students) and Dr. Ling-Ling Tsao.
The laboratory has two parts, a dining room and an observation room. The dining room is equipped with four cameras located at the four corners of the room. Each camera contains an embedded PZM microphone which enables simultaneous and high quality audio and video recording. The dining room contains height-adjustable and child-sized round tables and chairs. The observation room, adjacent to the dining room, is separated with a reflective glass. This room is equipped with computers and devices for video and sound recording. This room is also called the “brain room.”
HELP STOCK OUR LABORATORIES
With the Niccolls Building Renovation complete, we need some assistance stocking our new labs. To make a contribution, visit: HELP STOCK OUR LABORATORIES
Niccolls Building Renovation Photos
To review ALL the photos taken during the renovation process go here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bzwzpprsgf0q4wb/bABz-_4TQt