Feeding a Digital World

Feeding a Digital World

Target Grade Level / Age Range:

Grades 9 through 12.

Time:

Two 40 to 50 minutes class periods

Purpose: 

Using an interest based approach, students will create an augmented reality video to educate consumers about where their food comes from.

Materials:

  • Smart phone, iPad, or other tablet
  • Augmented reality app (i.e. Aurasma)
  • Screen flow software (i.e. iMovie or Camtasia) * optional*
  • Image software (i.e. iPhoto, Paint, or PowerPoint) *optional*
  • Gallon of milk
  • Carton of eggs
  • Bag of spaghetti pasta
  • Loaf of bread
  • Block of cheddar cheese
  • Can of chicken noodle soup
  • Bottle of tomato juice
  • Bottle of syrup

Suggested Companion Resources

Vocabulary

  • Augmented reality: A live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data
  • Aura: A term for the augmented reality experience
  • Trigger image: A still pictures a user has to scan with their phone to unlock the augmented reality content associated with them.
  • Overlay: The content you link to the trigger image – usually a video

Interest Approach or Motivator

Your local grocery store conducted a survey of their customers and found that customers want to know where their food comes from.  The store has hired your team to create an augmented reality video that will be triggered by an image at the grocery store and tell the story of where that food product came from.

Background – Agricultural Connections

Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.  Augmented reality overlays virtual information atop a real-world object.

Most Americans are three generations removed from the farm and don’t always understand how their food is produced.  They think that milk comes from the grocery store, and rarely consider the cow that produced it or the transportation or processing that it went through before it found its way to that store. 

The movement toward real food isn’t just about being a locavore. It’s also been fueled by health and safety concerns. Increasingly people want to know where their food comes from and what’s in it. Sales of natural, organic food and beverages have increased 20% from 2009 to 2012. And manufacturers have taken note…more than half (56%) of the food and beverage product categories in the U.S. showed decreases in the average number of ingredients per product in the same period. Even in snack foods, “better for you” is the top innovation area with a myriad of new natural products coming to market.

Technology is changing the way we think about food as it gives people more access to information.  Half of consumers get more cooking ideas online than anywhere else.  Two-thirds of consumers spend more than 10 hours a week online and 63% of consumers surf the Internet on their smartphones.

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus in mass and social media regarding the processes and practices involved in food production. Big-name brands have been called out and forced to explain their practices or, at times, reconcile them. Other brands are proactively taking stances on practices to avoid criticism and build positive perceptions.

Only 34 percent of Americans feel the agriculture industry is transparent and only 30 percent feel food companies are transparent about food production practices. The usage of pesticides and insecticides, animal antibiotics, animal hormones and the treatment of animals continue to be the food production topics of greatest concern to consumers. Americans still overwhelmingly trust information about food production that they receive via word-of-mouth, especially from friends and family. However, they are increasingly trusting food companies to share information and educate people on how their food is produced.

Procedures

  1. Provide the core concepts and set context of the why of the assignment using the background information.
  2. Teach basic use of app (have app preloaded on classroom iPads or allow students to use their own devices)
  3. Break class into teams of two.  Have each team select a grocery store product that they want to work on.  Students should research where that product came from (how it was grown and produced) and the processing and transportation that brought it to the grocery store.  To help guide student research use this basic guide for each of the products listed in the materials section:
    1. Milk: Most milk in the U.S. comes from Holstein cows (the black and white ones). Dairy cows are milked up to three times each day and can produce as much as 9 gallons of milk a day.  The milk is transported to a creamery where it is pasteurized to kill any bacteria.  It is checked for quality and then chilled and packaged.
    2. Eggs:  Female chickens or hens can produce about one egg every 24 hours.  The eggs are collected, washed and checked for quality in a process called candling before being packaged.
    3. Spaghetti pasta:  A special type of wheat called durum wheat is used to make pasta.  The wheat is milled or ground down to flour.  The flour is mixed with water and egg and then put through a pasta press that will make the correct shape and size of pasta.  The pasta is left to dry and then packaged.
    4. Bread:  A type of wheat called hard red spring wheat is used to make bread.  The wheat is milled or ground down to flour.  The flour is mixed with water, milk, oil, and yeast.  The bread in kneaded and rested multiple times allowing the yeast to create tiny air bubbles and allowing the dough to become somewhat elastic.  The bread is then baked, sliced and then packaged.
    5. Cheddar cheese: The milk from dairy cows is transported to a creamery and bacteria is added to it.  The bacteria feed on the lactose turning it to lactic acid.  Rennet is added and the milk splits into curds (solids) and whey (liquid).  The curds are removed and pressed get rid of excess whey.  The blocks of pressed curds are cut to size and shape and then packaged.
    6. Chicken noodle soup (chicken):  Broilers can be harvested at 7-8 weeks old.  Once the bird is dead, the feathers are plucked and the skin removed.  The meat is cut away from the bone.  The meat can then be cooked, cut into small pieces, and added to other products like soup.
    7. Tomato juice:  Tomatoes are harvested by machine and transported to a plant by truck.  The tomatoes are washed and then crushed to release the juice.  Seeds and skin are strained out.  The juice is pasteurized and then bottled.
    8. Syrup:  Many syrups (like pancake syrup) are corn syrup with flavoring added in the process.  Yellow #2 dent corn kernels are dried, shelled and cleaned.  Kernels are added to warm water with sulfur dioxide.  The kernels are passed through a mill and then into a separator to remove the corn starch.  The corn starch is mixed with a small about of hydrochloric acid and water to convert the starch into sugar.  The syrup could be used at this point or have flavors or coloring added to it.
  4. Students will then write a script and then using the video function on their iPad, tablet or smartphone film a short video explaining what they learned.  Videos should not be more than 1 to 2 minutes long.  Students should edit the video using the screen flow software or try and get the video done in one continuous shoot.
  5. Students should select a trigger image from the product packaging. 
  6. Students select the video they created from the device and using Aurasma create an aura overlaying the video on the trigger image.
  7. Set up the product around the room as they might be found in a grocery store and then allow the students to ‘shop’ moving around the room and using their devices to watch the videos created by their classmates and learning about where products came from. 

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Did you know? (Ag facts)

  • Most Americans are three generations removed from the farm.
  • Sales of natural, organic food and beverages have increased 20% from 2009 to 2012.
  • More than half (56%) of the food and beverage product categories in the U.S. showed decreases in the average number of ingredients per product in the same period.
  • Half of consumers get more cooking ideas online than anywhere else. 
  • Two-thirds of consumers spend more than 10 hours a week online and 63% of consumers surf the Internet on their smartphones.
  • Only 34 percent of Americans feel the agriculture industry is transparent and only 30 percent feel food companies are transparent about food production practices.

Extension Activities

  • Use image software to have students edit the trigger images to make them more professional looking.
  • Use screen flow software and allow students to edit their videos, splice different pieces together and make a more professional looking video.  This would likely take more time and would be suggested as a homework assignment. 
  • Have students present their video to the class and have the class go through the learning activity at the grocery store or in class using their smartphones to read the trigger images and access the subsequent augmented reality.

Sources/Credits

Original idea from Farah Vallera and Flint Hill Farm.

Author(s)

Will Fett

Organization Affiliation

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  • Theme 2: Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy Outcomes
    • Identify strategies for housing for animal welfare and the safety of animal products (e.g., meat, milk, eggs)
    • Identify inspection processes associated with food safety regulations
  • Theme 3: Food, Health, and Lifestyle Outcomes
    • Identify sources of agricultural products that provide food, fuel, clothing, shelter, medical, and other non-food products for their community, state, and/or nation
    • Evaluate food labels to determine food sources that meet nutritional needs
    • Evaluate serving size related to nutritional needs
    • Explain the benefits and disadvantages of food processing
    • Explain food labeling terminology related to marketing and how it affects consumer choices (e.g., natural, free-range, certified organic, conventional, cage-free, zero trans-fat, sugar-free, reduced calorie)
    • Describe the nutritional value that can be added by processing foods
    • Identify how various foods can contribute to a healthy diet
  • Theme 5: Culture, Society, Economy & Geography Outcomes
    • Identify agricultural products that are exported and imported
    • Identify farm ownership in relation to processor ownership (e.g., cooperatives, corporations, vertical integration)

Education Content Standards

  • 21 st Century Skills
    • 21.9-12.ES1
    • 21.9-12.ES2
    • 21.9-12.ES4
    • 21.9-12.TL.1
    • 21.9-12.TL.2
    • 21.9-12.TL.3
    • 21.9-12.TL.6
  • Social Studies
    • SS.9-12.E.6
    • SS.9-12.E.7

Common Core Connections

  • Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6
  • Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.WSLHSSST.7
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.WSLHSSST.8

Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.