MCC makes, and breaks, bread with 600 fourth-graders

Image caption: At JHU’s Montgomery County Campus, Christopher Castro of Brown Station Elementary School and Marianna Riffo Vargas of Garrett Park Elementary School get a hands-on science lesson from Paula Gray, center, life skills program manager for King Arthur Flour.


Nearly 600 fourth-graders from eight elementary schools visited the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus in April to learn the chemistry of bread baking. Paula Gray, life skills program manager for King Arthur Flour, led the students through engaging bread baking demonstrations, explaining along the way the importance of carbon dioxide, water, and properly measured ingredients.

"Bread baking is really just science and math," Gray says. "Bread baking is just a math equation. This plus this equals this. It's the best science experiment ever: You get to eat when you are done."

For the second consecutive year, Vermont-based King Arthur Flour brought its program to Johns Hopkins in Montgomery County. King Arthur donates enough ingredients for each student to go home and make two loaves of bread. One loaf is shared with the child's family; the second is donated to the Interfaith Works Food Pantry.

"We work hard to educate not only our current workforce through our graduate programs but the future workforce as well," says Elaine Amir, executive director of JHU in Montgomery County. "What that means is we find ways to make science come alive for students as young as kindergartners. I love to see their eyes open wide when they see how science works in real life. Sparks ignite in situations like this. Maybe one of these children will do something or see something that inspires a future career path."