OTTUMWA — Eleven area children were busy tying up their aprons before getting in front of the camera for their very own cooking show.
The Iowa State University Extension Center offered the two-day "Lights, Camera, Cooking!" camp this week, where children were able to learn how to make a tasty treat in a unique atmosphere.
"It is about kids learning to cook in the kitchen, but it is also about production of a food show," explained teacher Gina Martin. The day camp is part of a summer full of learning offered at the extension center. The camps have a variety of topics that range from cooking shows to fishing camps.
The camps are popular among both parents and children. According to Martin, nearly all of the center's day camps are full for the summer.
"I figured it would be cool to get to know other people and cook something at the same time," explained student Kameron Ades, 13.
The camps offer skills that can benefit students in a variety of settings. These 11 kids were divided into three teams that work to read the directions to ensure their food comes out correctly. They must continue this teamwork as they write a script, give out parts and ultimately prepare the dish.
Wednesday began with the kids watching the videos they created Tuesday. Kids watched themselves and learned that it is important to continuously talk during a presentation, walking off scene during a broadcast is not good and the importance of being well prepared.
"What we are doing in these two days gives them 21st century skills that the schools are trying to get kids to know," explained Martin. "They learn the skills of speaking, listening, presenting and here, this curriculum also incorporates food safety, food preparation and learning to cook."
"Lights, Camera, Cooking!" is a brand-new camp offered by the extension center offered to children in grades four through six. However, the curriculum can be changed in coming years to include both younger or older children.