Students get cheesy in the name of Science

Posted on 2016-10-11 by CM

The cheese making skills of Waikato secondary school students were put to the test recently during the annual Camembert in the Classroom competition held at Wintec in Hamilton.

Camembert in the Classroom is a programme developed by Wintec’s Centre for Science and Primary Industries in conjunction with the New Zealand Cheese School. It is all about creating interest in careers in cheese making, the dairy industry, science and hospitality while helping students to see the relevance of what they learn in school to the real world.

The project, which is supported by Fonterra and Dairy NZ, kicked off earlier this year with schools receiving cheese making kits and training from Wintec for the teachers involved. The project was then incorporated into the students’ science and food technology programmes.

On the 14th September 2016 their efforts were put to the ultimate test when their cheese was judged by master cheesemaker and principal of the New Zealand Cheese School, Neil Willman and a panel of experts at a live judging event at Wintec.

St Peter’s Cambridge students took out the award for Top Cheese, while Melville High School received Best Overall School for their efforts in the competition and Best Branding concept and Fraser High School received an award for Best Video Promotion.

Centre for Science and Primary Industries centre director Lee Taituha said the programme kicked off last year with three schools and has since grown to include eight schools and around 280 year 10 students.

“It’s been great to see such an uptake from our local schools. The programme is an opportunity for the students to get a taste of the industry while learning the science of cheese making – it’s hands-on and it brings together science and food in a really interesting way.”

Lee said the initiative couldn’t have happened without the support of the schools and industry experts and it was hoped that next year it would grow and be extended to different year levels.

The schools that took part were: Fraser High School; Melville High School; Ngaruawahia College; Paeroa College; Putaruru College; St Pauls Hamilton; St Peters Cambridge and Te Awamutu College.

camembert in the classroom Sep 2016

Master cheesemaker and principal of the New Zealand Cheese School, Neil Willman and a panel of experts at a live judging event at Wintec.

For more photographs of the event visit the Wintec Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/wintec/posts/10154685847429271