by Rachel Taliaferro
After spending the recent holidays aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, one of my brothers sent me this interesting STEM lesson (posted, ironically, on the Naval Historical Foundation website) with the following wager: "I'm willing to bet my next check that a group of middle school kids can make a tastier meal than what I just ate."
Judging from his very bitter description of the holiday bread pudding (I'll spare you the gruesome details), he might be right. The lesson challenges students to use their STEM skills (including proportions, measurements, and conversions) to find a naval recipe that can serve a submarine crew of up to 160 members. The lesson meets several CCSS standards and is aimed toward middle school students (you can find the full lesson plan here). It's up to the students to decide if they actually want to cook the recipes they choose, so whether my brother will be keeping his next paycheck or not, I'll never know.
On a related note, the Submarine Force Museum website has plenty of other math and science lessons/experiments that seem excellent for implementing in a gifted STEM classroom. Personally, I remember building projectiles in high school physics as being some of the only moments I was ever interested in science class.