Demonstration Lab Brings Food-Centered Learning Possibilities to Early Childhood School

St. Margaret’s Early Childhood School has begun implementing its new Demonstration Lab. An original creation inspired by the school’s innovative curriculum, the lab includes a full kitchen which brings endless learning possibilities to the young students centered around the food they eat.

“We are very excited for our new, innovative Demonstration Lab and all the ways it can enrich student learning here at St. Margaret’s,” Early Childhood School Director Cris Lozon said. “With this new space in the Early Childhood School, students can use food preparation to learn a variety of concepts, from math to science and even cultural competency and history.”

The Demonstration Lab is designed with a room-length table with custom-sized chairs for young learners on one side, and a kitchen on the other side for teachers. The lab has sliding glass doors that completely opens the space to the Outdoor Classroom.

The lab has already been put to use for some class-specific activities. Early Childhood School faculty will continue to further integrate the space into its curriculum going forward, including linking it with food being grown in the school’s garden.

For added professional development, Dr. Lozon welcomed Amanda Mayo into the Demonstration Lab to present to ES faculty on utilizing it for transdisciplinary learning. Ms. Mayo is an expert in food education who recently served as a gastronomy lecturer at Boston University, and is a current St. Margaret’s parent.

Ms. Mayo hailed the new Demonstration Lab as “a pilot program for not just St. Margaret’s, but schools across the country” and expressed an eagerness to work with St. Margaret’s faculty.

“Amanda has graciously offered her expertise and time to help us design creative ways to utilize this space,” Dr. Lozon said. “Her insightful presentation inspired our faculty and provided many new ideas and learning possibilities we are eager to pursue.”

Ms. Mayo spoke about how faculty can bring the Demonstration Lab into almost any learning concept, from math through measuring, science through understanding the properties of food, and cultural competency through the introduction of cuisines from around the world. She also spoke on the topics of minimizing food waste, reaching out to the local community for partnerships, and utilizing the Demonstration Lab in various school events like the annual Works of Wonder exhibit.

The Demonstration Lab is one of several upgrades that took place this summer in the Early Childhood School to keep pace with the ongoing advancements of the division’s academic program. All classrooms were remodeled with age-appropriate, movable furnishings to customize learning spaces and educational provocations, and special spaces were created or upgraded including an outdoor Tinker Lab, an Atelier (art studio) and a multipurpose room.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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