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Maharishi School's Origami Restaurant gives students a valuable project-based learning experience
by Global Good News staff writer
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3 December 2012
Middle School students at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment do a lot of project-based learning—in which they are given a real-life situation with a meaningful context, and then learn different aspects of the project.
A popular example of project-based learning among Middle School students at the Fairfield, Iowa, USA campus is the Origami Restaurant. The project has a specific focus, running a restaurant, which simultaneously develops organizational, artistic, and culinary skills.
For sustainability they use a 4,000 square foot (372 square metre) greenhouse, as well as an 'edible schoolyard', to grow many of the vegetables and herbs they serve in the restaurant. Besides providing the basics of fresh organic fare the garden teaches students the skill of gardening.
They have a demonstration kitchen, created by the community, so parents and other family members can observe the preparation and cooking. After cooking, there is tasting and analysis and a winning chef is announced. Before being served, each plate is crowned with a small origami decoration so visitors can enjoy both artwork and delicious food.
After lunch students clean up the restaurant and kitchen. Cooking is an elective class for which guest chefs are invited to the kitchen to teach.
A teacher commented that the Origami Restaurant is an example of Maharishi School Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's principle of drawing on the best of education. In addition to mathematics and other general education classes, the project gives students the opportunity to learn organizational and life skills—such as tending the garden, cooking, and serving. At the same time the school's Consciousness-Based Education approach, including Transcendental Meditation, helps students dissolve stress while optimizing their brain function and creativity.
See related articles:
∙ US: Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment continues to grow and thrive
∙ CNN Hero of the Year inspires Maharishi School students
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