Only 5% of Aussie kids are getting their daily veges. The problem’s not new. Kids have been pushing uneaten vegetables around their plates for generations.
Teacher, television host, and best-selling children’s author Alice Zaslavsky reckons we’re ready for a fresh approach. She has created a free, digital program for grades 3-6 that flips food education on its head.
It’s called PHENOMENOM (with an m). And it might just help the next gen. rethink veggies for good.
The project, comprised of 25 episodes, 50 downloadable vegetable resources and an interactive website, is the first of its kind and has been funded by Hort Innovation, the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture, using the vegetable research and development levy, and contributions from the Australian Government.
Utilising research-led methodology and a pedagogical approach steeped in positive psychology, experiential learning and inclusive design, Phenomenom is a prototype for teaching this generation of students, the way that they want to be taught.
An anarchic mix of live action and animation, Phenomenom transports kids from classrooms onto tall ships, deep inside worm farms, and back out through interstellar wormholes.
Set in a ‘classroom of the very near future’, Alice is joined by a class of Super Natural Learners, whose natural inquisitiveness and willingness to try new things – both on their plates and in their learning – sets the tone and directs much of the action. Along the way, the Super Naturals meet illustrious guests such as River Cottage Australia host, Paul West, AFL champion Chris Judd, Mars One astronaut candidate Dianne McGrath, Olympic athlete Morgan Mitchell, and a host of experts across nutrition, psychology, and native foods. All set to a fresh new soundtrack created by actual rock-stars, including You Am I’s Davey Lane.
The series is a springboard to a suite of 50 curriculum-aligned classroom resources that are designed to be easily searchable by code, subject and topic on Phenomenom’s interactive website – perfect for busy teachers. Combining the history of cuisine and agriculture with lessons across subject areas including Science and Technologies, English, the Arts and Health and PE, the emphasis is always on exploration, cooperation, tactile experience and taste. It’s the perfect launching pad for a richer understanding of the world.
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