Do you like math? Do you like science? Celebrity chef Anne Burrell asked these questions to a crowd of more than 300 kids from Boys & Girls Clubs on February 1. “When I was your age, I didn’t like or understand math or science at all,” Burrell admitted to them, “but that was also because I couldn’t understand how all of this plays into life as you get older.”
Burrell, along with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, spoke to the group as hosts of Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) Day at the Time Warner Cable Studios in New York City. The event was part of the company’s five-year, $100 million program to encourage kids’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). CAMM events have taken place across the country since 2009.
Burrell and Cruz joined the kids as they took part in several science and math activities related to television programming. Volunteers from the New York Hall of Science cooked up a chemistry lesson at an activity inspired by the Food Network. Kids used dough to explore electricity and how it moves.
“There’s tons to learn about cooking and science, and what’s really fun is that there’s something to eat at the end!” Burrell told TFK. Burrell also shared that her first class in cooking school was culinary math. “There’s almost more about science in cooking than math but they’re really pretty equal,” she says.
Kids got a behind-the-scenes look at science and math connections in history, sports, and preschool programs too. At a History Channel activity, kids learned about catapults. Warriors first used the machines in ancient times to hurl objects at enemies. Kids learned how the machines work, and used catapults made with Popsicle sticks to launch marshmallows into cups.
Instructors at the ESPN activity directed kids in an experiment. Kids insulated, or protected, plastic eggs to understand how padding protects athletes. At the Sprout preschool channel activity, kids identified shapes used to make the cardboard props for the Sunny Side Up Show. They also learned how to make cardboard docking stations for cell phones and iPods, and how these tools make sounds louder.
You can learn more about CAMM and search for science and math events near you at connectamillionminds.com. Says Cruz: “If I can get all of you guys having fun doing math and science, then I’ve accomplished my goal.”