Food Service Studies and Careers a classroom project funded by Student Research Foundation

Students Pursue Food Service Studies and Careers

About 140 students are enrolled in classes in Mrs. Niles’s 11th-grade food lab, at Orville H Platt High School Meriden, CT, learning the basics of safe food preparation and handling. “Giving our student a chance to work in hands-on food labs exposes them to many possible career options in the culinary industry,” she explains, “as well as careers in food sciences, and health and nutrition fields.”

More than 75% of Mrs. Niles’s students come from low-income households. Many of them qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches – so they are already thinking about food. Yet to engage her students more fully in learning about safe food-preparation skills and procedures, she needed some basic supplies and equipment that included aprons, dish towels, and dishcloths.

Since the total cost of those supplies came to $665.79, she posted a request for funding on DonorsChoose.org. And thanks to generous donations from The Student Research Foundation and the RISE Educator Advisory Council, her project was funded and her students are wearing their aprons and using their new dish towels and dishcloths in her food science labs. They are learning to prepare foods and safely clean dishes and food-prep vessels.

“More than half of our students come from low-income homes,” Mrs. Niles explains. “Having the opportunity to work in a professional lab setting gives them a chance to learn about health, nutrition, cooking skills, food safety and sanitation as well as group dynamics, time management and communication skills. Mastering these skills will build their confidence and help them achieve future career goals.”

And now, it is happening!

Thanks from Mrs. Niles

Dear Student Research Foundation,

Thank you so much for your generosity. My students were so excited when the new aprons arrived. You would have thought they won the lottery. I let my advanced foods students be the first to wear them. We have approximately one hundred and forty students in our foods program. With that many students we use a lot of aprons, washing cloths and drying towels. Without these basic items, we would not be able to cook. We spend a lot of time teaching our students about safety and sanitation and having the proper supplies to make sure we are able to clean properly is so important. Thank you for your support.

With gratitude,
Mrs. Niles

Food Service Studies and Careers a classroom project funded by Student Research Foundation Food Service Studies and Careers a classroom project funded by Student Research Foundation Food Service Studies and Careers a classroom project funded by Student Research Foundation Food Service Studies and Careers a classroom project funded by Student Research Foundation

We look forward to writing about additional DonorsChoose.org teacher projects here on the Student Research Foundation blog. Stay tuned!


We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

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