Sept. 12, 2022
For a group of Memorial students this past spring, a field studies course took them to one of the biggest cities in the world — plus beyond.
The fourth-level pilot course, Field Studies in Nutrition and Food (Biochemistry 4242), included a two-week trip to the U. K. within May, based at Memorial’s Harlow Campus.
Ten Faculty of Science students visited museums, nutrition and food research institutes, and meals production facilities with a focus on learning about themes like farm-to-fork foods systems; food, nutrition plus health; and modern plus historical nourishment research, in London and its surroundings.
Meals culture and sustainability
“Our main impetus was in order to introduce some experiential learning into the biochemistry (nutrition) curriculum, ” said Dr. Rob Bertolo, who co-led the program, along with Doctor. Janet Brunton and Dr. Scott Harding. “We also wanted to meet certain gaps in our program. For example , we wanted students to get a few experiences in topics want food culture and sustainability. ”
One of the particular experiences incorporated a behind-the-scenes visit to the Gordon Museum of Pathology at King’s College Greater london.
“It’s a collection of pathological specimens — several wax models and some bits of pieces of real people that have been within formaldehyde for 200 years, ” said Dr . Harding. “The college students loved it. ”
Other day trips included visits to Brogdale Collections, which preserves heritage and modern varieties of thousands of different types of fruit trees; Billingsgate fish market, where students learned about the changing fish stocks; and Kew Gardens to see the Food Forever exhibit, which included unique art installations upon food diversity and durability and an exhibit on the future associated with food production and choices in light of the altering climate.
They also visited the particular British Museum’s exhibit on coffee, followed by a street tour of London’s original coffee houses; London’s vast Borough food market to see foods that are produced and sold locally in ways that aim in order to be better with regard to people and the planet; plus Denbies Wines Estate to learn about the fermentation process and how climate change is impacting the particular types of fruit grown inside the region.
Additionally they spent a day at Cambridge University learning about some of the major scientific contributions made by the professors there, including more than 25 Nobel prize winners.
“The Natural History Museum furthermore had an excellent display called Our Broken Planet , ” stated Doctor Brunton. “Part associated with it was about how meals production impacts the planet’s health and global warming. That was the theme that will ran through the whole training course. ”
Student Adam Herritt says the trip was the experience of a lifetime.
“It was the best decision I have ever made, ” he said. “From learning the particular basic U. K. essentials like public transport to drinking freshly made cider from Brogdale Collections in order to learning about the future of our fundamental foods supply in the Museum of Natural Background, the course was perfect. ”
“I produced friendships that will last a lifetime and this lightened my course load for the upcoming year. ”
With regard to student Questionnaire Hillier, the opportunity has been an amazing experience both academically plus personally, she says.
“I made friendships which will last a long time and it lightened my course load for that upcoming year. A win-win situation. ”
Opportunity to think
The particular professors believe the experience will continue to have an impact around the learners.
“Maybe it was because the course had been so intense, and they spent so much time with us, but they really started to get engaged on the tours and with their assignments and asked interesting questions, ” mentioned Dr . Bertolo.
“We think they are going to be much better students in the future because they have had this experience and the particular opportunity to think about what we were trying to teach and why. ”
Biochemistry plans to offer the program again within summer 2023 and are currently developing a second Harlow training course to run at the same time.
The particular courses would run consecutively, with one focusing on food, food systems and sustainability, while the other would concentrate on current nutritional science and biomedical research in human health and disease.
Industry Studies in Nutrition and Food was modelled upon similar courses previously offered by the Department of Biology.
“They have not yet returned to having field programs at Harlow, but all of us hope to offer our Harlow program back-to-back with The field of biology in future years, ” said Doctor Bertolo. “Biochemistry is also going through curriculum renewal, which usually will potentially introduce classes with some other departments. It would be nice 1 day to have a full semester of technology courses available to students in Harlow. ”
Kelly Foss is a communications advisor with the Teachers of Technology. She can be reached at [email protected] ca .