About the Program

 

Today’s educators have an opportunity to learn about relevant lessons in food science that they can teach to their students.
Science and Our Food Supply (SOFS), a middle and high school level curriculum, was created by an advisory board of professional educators and has been taught by thousands of teachers since 1999. The Professional Development Program in Food Science prepares teachers to implement the SOFS curriculum in their schools. The training program (workshop) takes place each year in July.

The FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science

The FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science is for middle level and high school science, agriculture, health, and family and consumer science teachers. Taking advantage of the broad public interest in current food science, teachers will learn how they can provide topically relevant lessons in food science for their students through hands-on labs and other activities. This ongoing program is supported and directed by the FDA and administered by Graduate School USA.

Teachers participating in a lab

The training is led by subject-matter experts and includes content on the farm-to-table process, food safety, nutrition, agricultural biotechnology, and more. Participants learn how to conduct the food safety lab experiments, as well as other hands-on classroom activities.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States, hold teacher certification, have taught a minimum of 3 years, and currently teach in a public or private school in the U.S., U.S. territories, or DOD school system.


The FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science includes:

1. Summer Training

This 5-day training program is for middle level and high school science, agriculture, health, and family and consumer science educators. The program includes:

  • Content updates from food science experts
  • Hands-on lab practicum with curriculum materials (provided)
  • Exchange of teaching/learning strategies
  • Presentations by government and industry leaders
  • Support and planning for participant-presented workshops, i.e., Train-the-Trainer workshops

2. Curriculum Implementation

Participants will be required to implement the FDA Science and Our Food Supply supplementary curriculum during the subsequent school year.

3. Required Train-the-Trainer Workshops

Participants must commit to present a 6-hour workshop (in-person or virtual) in their respective school, district, or region during the academic year. Workshop material expenses will be provided, as well as an honorarium, upon completion of a peer workshop and submission of a final report.

4. Online Support

Facilitated by Graduate School USA.

Full participation in the 5-day professional development program is required.


Post Training Requirements

Participants are expected to teach segments of the Science and Our Food Supply curriculum to their colleagues in a Train-the-Trainer workshop (instruction may be in-person, virtual, or a hybrid) during the school year. Each participant will receive a materials stipend for classroom/lab supplies to facilitate their instruction of the curriculum. An honorarium will be provided to summer program graduates once they have completed the 6-hour workshop requirement and submitted a comprehensive final report.

Teachers

Curriculum

The FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science is based on the Science and Our Food Supply curriculum, which focuses on Food Safety, Nutrition, and Food Agriculture and Biotechnology Education.

Disease outbreaks caused by foodborne organisms frequent the news. Each year, approximately one sixth of the U.S. population experience mild to severe illnesses caused by pathogens in food. Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table introduces students to the fundamentals of microbiology, while at the same time, imparting important public health information. Students will find answers to these questions: How do these organisms cause disease? What measures are being taken by the federal government to prevent transmission of these organisms? What can individuals do to protect themselves from such disease?

The Nutrition Facts label is an accessible tool with nutrient information to help make healthy food choices. It can serve as a key contributor to healthy decision making — and the earlier one starts using it, the better! Science and Our Food Supply: Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices will help students learn about the label, and that nutrition not only aids in general well-being, but also can help prevent or manage chronic diseases later in life.

The science and technologies of food production, transportation, storage, and preparation evolve to enhance food safety, quality, and varieties. Science and Our Food Supply: Exploring Food Agriculture and Biotechnology will teach students about new research methodologies that have enabled scientists to broaden their understanding of food science and about emerging technologies that help to safeguard health.

Teens are particularly vulnerable targets for misunderstanding what dietary supplements are and are often unaware of the potential benefits and adverse effects they can have on their bodies. Science and Our Food Supply: Examining Dietary Supplements is designed to empower students to evaluate the accuracy and credibility of information they see and hear about dietary supplements.