A great way to engage children in learning about healthy lifestyles through innovative use of digital technologies!

A couple of months ago I came across The Tesco Eat Happy Project which has been set up to help educate young people in having healthy lifestyles. The project aligned well with my school’s Growing Greener creative learning programme so I was very keen to explore it further.

An interesting dimension to the project is the concept of Online Field Trips which allow classes to visit food producers around the world. We have used Skype in the past to connect with Everest explorers but the idea of partnering with other classes in real-time was something we had not explored. The fact that we would be able to take part in tours and Q&A sessions also made the project all the more exciting.

The online field trips use Google+ Hangouts to connected classes across the globe with a food producer such as the Wensleydale Cheese Factory, a banana farm in Costa Rica or a pasta factory in Italy. The online field trips really open up new opportunities to pupils and allow them to develop an understanding of where food comes from in an exciting way which would not otherwise be possible. It’s easy to watch pre-recorded videos of food production but the ability to interact with experts and and ask questions adds a valuable and exciting dimension to children’s learning.

My class enjoyed taking part in three online field trips, including Sweet Strawberries:

We also visited the Wensleydale Cheese Factory and the banana ripening centre! There are two options when taking part in an online field trip: you can either choose to watch the broadcast live and not appear on-screen or you can take part in the field trip by appearing on-screen and asking questions. Tesco will also send you resources and some of the food to try if you’re one of the featured schools – we especially enjoyed the Wensleydale Cheese!

I’d really recommend getting involved in this project with your classes if you can. You just need a webcam and a Google+ account. If you are a Google Apps for Education user then you can activate Google+ within you domain. We use our new school learning platform which integrates Google Apps.

Tesco will be running the online field trip again this year and my class will be taking part in some of them.

Upcoming Field Trips

  • Honey – 11 September 1.30pm
  • Sweetcorn – 18 September 1.30pm
  • Rice – 25 September (time TBC)
  • Broccoli – 2 October 1.30pm
  • Pumpkin & squash – 9 October 1.30pm
  • Baked beans – 6 November 1.30pm
  • Bread – 13 November 1.30pm
  • Potatoes – 20 November 1.30pm
  • Tea – 27 November (time TBC)
  • Clementines – 4 December 1.30pm

If you would like to take part in any of the above field trips then visit the Eat Happy Project Google+ page to find out more!

Photo credit to Martin Fisch – Fields of Gold – used under creative commons license.