The EIT FoodScienceClass aims to bring food science and technology into classrooms and turns students into young food researchers to help raise a new generation of empowered citizens.
An increasing number of children worldwide have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. In 2016, over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 years old were overweight or obese. Lifestyle factors, such as an unbalanced diet which may show up in people as overweight, are among the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs create a big burden on humanity with globally nearly 41 million deaths per year. However, many of these health diseases are preventable through health-promoting programs such as promoting healthy behaviours and lifestyle changes from an early age. As such, eating patterns and behaviour toward food are often formed as early as childhood and continue through adolescence and adulthood.
There is a clear need to address basic health knowledge and food and nutrition literacy skills. The EIT FoodScienceClass brings food science and technology into classrooms and turns students into young food researchers to help raise a new generation of empowered citizens. This project guides students from Belgium, Finland, Israel and Poland to examine the origins of commonly consumed food items in their communities. The students learn about food production and the role of food additives, food literacy and how to use the information on a nutrition label as well as how to communicate about nutrition with science backing you up.
Throughout this project, several materials have been developed that will be available as toolkits for students and teachers, making it easy to apply in other schools and engage with the wider teacher community. At the end of the project, in December 2022, a teachers’ forum will be held to show the materials that have been developed and encourage teachers to integrate food sciences into their lessons.
The EIT FoodScienceClass project started in 2020 with a collaboration between three countries (Israel, Poland and Belgium) and four European partners: Technion (Israel), PAN (Poland), EUFIC (Belgium) and DOUXMATOK (Israel). Over the years, the project has welcomed three new partners: VTT (Finland), Rikolto (Belgium) and FoodBank (Poland).
EUFIC’s role in the EIT FoodScienceClass lies within our expertise in communication activities and creating engaging visual materials. Collaboratively with our partners, we bring their messages to life and provide engaging social media content as well as networking opportunities to spread the word and increase the impact of the project. To further support the partners in their outreach to local media, EUFIC organised a yearly communication workshop with helpful tips and tricks on how to approach classic and social media.
- Leading communication and dissemination (e.g., web page, social media, science communication presentation for partners)
- Networking activities with relevant organisations
- Creating graphical templates (e.g., social media posts, lesson plans)
- Co-branded a food waste social media campaign on the EUFIC social media channels (Twitter, Facebook)
- Supporting the creation of student and teacher toolkits in English, Polish, Flemish, Finnish, Hebrew and Spanish
EUFIC leads the communication and dissemination activities of the project and is in close collaboration with the project partners. EUFIC is accountable for several tasks in the area of communication and dissemination. These tasks include:
Developing a communication and dissemination plan for all partners to follow.
Leading communication activities including website and social media presence, including a co-branding social media campaign on the @EUFIC Twitter channel.
Infographic as part of the co-branded social media campaign on food waste; all visuals will be part of the teacher’s toolkit
Supporting the partners in communication activities and media outreach.
Infographics as part of the student’s toolkit
Creating graphical templates.
Supporting the creation of student & teacher toolkits as well as the Youth & Teacher Forum.
Project meeting in Leuven, September 2022.
For further information, visit the EIT FoodScienceClass website!