Curious Chef: Baking With Science for Teens is a DIY science cookbook and learning model for young teens that combines simple Austrian cake recipes with physics learnings in the area of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. It aims to excite both girls and boys between 12 and 14 years for STEM subjects by demonstrating the applicability of physics and engineering in everyday life through a hands-on activity, baking, that can easily be conducted at home, promotes experimentation, and fosters creativity.
The project developed out of my engagement with the persisting Gender gap in STEM fields. This gender gap is particularly high for some of the fastest growing and highest paid jobs of the future, including the field of engineering. Historically, most science subjects were primarily taught to girls due to their high importance for the everyday life of a ‘good’ housewife and mother. In contrast to this, girls today often perceive STEM subjects as highly abstract and often lack understanding of their applicability to daily life and potential careers.
Curious Chef is a learning model that utilizes baking as a real world example for possible applications of science and thereby encourages young teens to follow their passion for STEM and always be curious.