Vetri Cooking Lab is our out-of-school time program that utilizes cooking and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) core concepts to teach nutrition education.  Using the kitchen as a classroom, Vetri Cooking Lab (VCL) builds culinary skills, nutritional knowledge, and confidence through fun and engaging experiences.  Through the utilization of STEAM core concepts, VCL nourishes minds, bodies, and communities by encouraging curiosity, teamwork and fostering a communal respect for food and one another.  In our classroom, we put the tools in participant’s hands, giving them ownership and the opportunity to build their culinary confidence.

We aim to create a welcoming learning environment for people of all skills and knowledge levels. Experiential by design, Vetri Cooking Lab offers hands-on cooking and tasting opportunities of recipes that are engaging but also affordable and approachable.   We see food and cooking as the vehicles for illustrating principles of STEAM and developing nutritional knowledge.  Preparing food creates an opportunity for learning that occurs in a natural, meaningful context—with delicious results.

This 10-week curriculum-based program engages students 3rd grade and up, primarily in Philadelphia’s low-income neighborhoods, teaching important nutrition lessons like whole vs. processed foods, reading nutrition labels, added sugar, food culture, and more.

Over the course 2-hour weekly class, VCL students are introduced to STEAM topics such as:

  • Measurements, Equations, Conversions
  • Stages of Matter 
  • Evaporation
  • Cooking with heat/energy
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Cost Calculations
  • Composting
  • Carmelization & Sugar
  • Taste, smell and your senses
  • Fermentation

Students leave the classroom as “educated food consumers” who are prepared to make informed decisions about the food they purchase, cook, and eat.