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Virtual field trips for Clay High School culinary students

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT
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OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Field trips are a fun way for students to learn about the world, but this year, they - like most everything else - have been put on hold thanks to the pandemic.

But one Clay High School teacher is not letting COVID-19 get in the way of providing her students with the best education possible.

Chef Andi Lawrence would normally take her culinary arts students to local restaurants for real world learning. But this year that’s not possible... so she got creative.

The culinary arts students at Clay High School already run their own restaurant, the Golden Eagle Cafe. But Lawrence wants her students to be at the cutting edge of food trendiness, which is, of course, food trucks.

Her plans to expand with one for the students to run are on hold. But that’s not stopping Lawrence. She’s partnering with local food trucks to create virtual field trip videos for her students to learn the business from the professionals.

“For career tech teachers, this experience has really taught us to think outside of the box and keep our kids interested. A lot of our kids are hands-on learners, visual learners, and our information is really based on experience and getting hands on and getting that experience,” says Lawrence.

The Golden Eagle Cafe is currently closed because of the virus, but will serve the public and make deliveries again in the future.

One of the food trucks helping Lawrence’s students is Manny’s Munchies.

The owner, Jeff McIntyre, is a former substitute teacher, and has conducted field trips before, so he jumped at the chance to continue educating kids.

He says it’s important for students to know that running a food truck is about a lot more than just making delicious food. It’s about marketing, social media, maps, and a surprising amount of math. He also wants kids to know it’s hard work, and often requires working more than one job.

“He’s going to do video following the steps of things we do behind the scenes, maybe a phone call with a promoter, and shopping and just about everything you wouldn’t necessarily think about, and then of course, being open and serving the customer side of things,” says McIntyre.

McIntyre’s son studied film production at BGSU and has offered to help his dad make the video.

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