Harford County Public School Teacher Professional Development Day

As a part of an ongoing effort to attract students to the world of food science, TIC Gums is sponsoring Ice Cream University for a third consecutive year. This five week course gives high school juniors a glimpse into what a career in food science can offer. This year we engaged the Harford County Public School teachers to help recruit students for the program.

In late November, TIC Gums hosted 20 high school math and science teachers from the Harford County Public School District during their professional development day. The teachers began with a course in Gums 101 presented by Amanda Hoffman, technical service representative, and Tim Andon, business development manager. Topics covered included everything from the origin of raw materials to the chemistry behind the functionality of hydrocolloids.

Hands-on labs were the highlight of the course. Many teachers had completed similar labs with their students but were interested to learn more about the ingredients they were using. One teacher said, “It was really great to learn what is actually in the science kits we use for the labs in the classroom. I will definitely share what I’ve learned with my chemistry classes.”

After the course concluded, teachers were able to tour the pilot plant. Donna Klockeman, senior principal food scientist, demonstrated how she was utilizing the homogenizer for yogurt production. Many teachers were surprised to learn about the variety of career paths available in food science.   

Harford County Teachers learn about food science

TIC Gums will host the annual Ice Cream University program beginning in February. Teachers are encouraged to nominate students who excel in math and science and whom they feel would be ideal candidates. The course is co-sponsored by Cornell University’s Department of Food Science. Throughout the five week program, students will work in teams to create the best ice cream. The winning team will get to produce their ice cream at Broom’s Bloom dairy. “I am really excited to encourage some of my students to apply for Ice Cream University. It is a fantastic opportunity in a really interesting industry. I wish I could apply!” said another teacher.