Cooking for a Living: Becoming a Chef

Learn what chefs do and how a person can become a chef.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to list several places where a chef might work.
  • Students will be able to describe the main responsibilities of a head chef.
  • Students will be able to name other staff members that might work in a kitchen and describe the responsibilities of each.
  • Students will be able to explain how a person can become a chef.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Chefs work in restaurants, hospitals, schools and other places where people are fed. Some work as caterers or as personal chefs for individuals. A chef’s job is to prepare meals, but chefs do much more than cook. A chef must decide what goes on an establishment’s menu. They must also choose the best ingredients for preparing meals. The best ingredients not only make the food taste good, but are also not too expensive. If a chef wants to make a dish that requires an expensive ingredient, he or she must consider whether customers will be willing to pay for that ingredient.

Chefs are also in charge of buying ingredients. They purchase meat, produce, spices and other ingredients from suppliers. Decisions on what and how much to buy depends on the size and type of establishment for which the chef works. For example, an expensive seafood restaurant does not require the same ingredients as a small pizzeria.

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Money Exchange

Students will learn about money exchange from US to foreign.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will learn about exchange rates.
  • Students will learn to identify different exchange rates.
  • Students will learn to figure out money amounts when exchanging US money to foreign money using exchange rates.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

There are many real life examples where you have to understand about math and money. When working with money, you need to know about fractions, decimals and percentages.  Sometimes you will need to add/subtract/multiply or divide.  One example where you need to understand math and money is when it comes to money exchange.

What is money exchange?

Money exchange is used when traveling between different countries that have different currency.  In the United States, we work with dollars.  In another country, you often won’t be able to use dollar bills. You will need to exchange your American money for money of whichever country you are visiting.  To do this, you will need to understand the exchange rate.

What is an exchange rate?

An exchange rate lets you know how much your dollar is worth in another country.  Different countries have different exchange rates. Based on the worth of the dollar, you will either have more currency in another country or less currency in that country.

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Protecting the Environment: Becoming an Environmental Engineer

Learn how environmental engineers protect the environment and how a person can become one.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to list and describe various capacities in which environmental engineers work.
  • Students will understand that environmental engineers design ways to protect the environment.
  • Students will understand that environmental engineers can work for companies or for the government.
  • Students will be able to describe some ways in which environmental engineers prevent pollution.
  • Students will be able to describe what hazmats are and give examples.
  • Students will be able to explain the ideal characteristics and interests for a person who wants to become an environmental engineer.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Environmental engineers find the best ways to protect the environment. They develop ways to dispose of trash, get clean drinking water to people and prevent or clean up pollution. Some environmental engineers work for the government, helping to develop and enforce laws that protect the environment. Others work for private companies, ensuring that the companies follow environmental protection laws. Still others work as consultants. Instead of working for a single company, consultants are hired to help different businesses design environmentally friendly ways to operate. For example, an oil company must follow certain laws about where or how they can drill. Environmental engineers develop systems for getting oil from the ground without violating these laws.

Environmental engineers also work to prevent and clean up pollution. Pollution comes from vehicle fumes, animal waste on farms, manufacturing and even litter on the street. Engineers design ways for people to create less trash. They also design systems that produce less pollution. In addition, environmental engineers create ways to safely dispose of hazmats (hazardous materials) such as paint, batteries, medical waste and waste from nuclear power plants.

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Figuring Costs Using Fractions

Students will learn to use fractions to figure out costs.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will apply fractions to real- life situations involving costs.
  • Students will review multiplying fractions.
  • Students will learn to take a fraction of a cost.
  • Students will apply these skills when problem solving.


Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade


Lesson Excerpt:

There are many times in life when you will need to use fractions to figure out the cost of something.  Taking lessons to learn a skill is a real life example where you will need to use fractions to solve problems.

How do fractions become important when learning a new skill?

Well, depending on the skill, many times there is an introductory class that is offered at a fraction of the real cost of a regular class. Many different types of teachers do this to allow students the opportunity to figure out if they really want to learn the new skill.

You can see this type of an example with martial arts, horseback riding or scuba diving to name a few.

Because this introductory class is offered at a fraction of the cost of a regular class, students are often given “a deal” on the class.  To figure out such a deal, you will need to know how to use fractions.

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