Philadelphia Science Festival 2014-2018
Hungry Education has participated in and collaborated with the Philadelphia Science Festival for five years. Beginning in 2014, Hungry, then known as "We Are Foodwise," created an interactive exhibit for the massive, one-day street carnival which closes out the Science Fest.
"What Makes Marshmallows Fluffy" incorporated kid-activated vacuum jars demonstrating "Boyle's Law," signage with marshmallow history and science facts, and a live marshmallow making demo. Hungry's exhibit was one of the carnival's most popular that year with consistent crowds of attendees sometimes up to three rows deep. Hungry also participated in that year's Science After School, a free afternoon of STEAM learning held at libraries throughout the city.
In 2016 and 2017, Hungry participated in Food Science, a one-day event held at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Hungry took the opportunity to bust the myth of the "tongue map," an outdated belief that the tongue's taste buds are divided into sections of the four primary tastes of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It's also now determined that there are six tastes and not four, and Hungry included these tastes of umami (meaty) and oleogustus (fatty) as part of the activity. This misunderstanding of early 20th Century science has persisted in science classes and textbooks for decades. Hungry believes that it is essential that research supported information be the foundation for all of its educational services: activities, workshops, and curriculum. There is a large amount of misconceptions and pseudoscience surrounding food and presenting information that is factually correct and substantiated by unbiased research is essential to undo the damage done by years of inadequate or erroneous education.
Also, in 2017, Hungry partnered with an Associate Member Emerita of Monell Chemical Senses, Marcia Pelchat. Ms. Pelchat's work focused on the psychology of picky eating. "Be a Food Psychologist" provided children and their families with an opportunity to learn more about neophobia (picky eating) and the science of taste and smell through an interactive chocolate tasting activity. Hungry Education also facilitated an introduction between the planning team of Philadelphia Science Festival and the Franklin Institute and Reading Terminal Market in the Summer of 2017, which lead to PSF hosting a large after-hours event with Reading Terminal Market called "Brain Food."
In 2018, Hungry participated in Brain Food with an interactive exhibit "How Has Brain Food Changed Throughout History." Participants learned about the history of brain food in various cultures including Traditional Chinese Medicine, early Jewish Medicine of Maimonides, and European Corpse Medicine while making Zaatar in mortar and pestles. Hungry believes that an understanding of how food history helped to shape humanity is also essential, and we use every opportunity to be able to showcase the vibrant accounts behind the food.
Hungry conceptualized and designed all of its Science Festival exhibits, researched, designed, and provided all learning experiences and supporting educational materials, developed professional contacts and facilitated business partnerships, extensively studied the following topics: food science (foam and sugar), science of smell and taste, including food psychology, neophobia, food history, and food as medicine.