Surveys-Food Preferences Module

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Lesson Extension

Conduct a similar survey among students from classes at your home schools and/or your parents, siblings, friends etc. Analyze the results. Discuss differences and similarities with the results of previous surveys. Present the results.

The project may be viewed from various perspectives:

  1. Food preferences
    • This is what we have done so far.
  2. Food preparation:
    • Examine records of amounts of food prepared, by day
  3. Food purchase
    • Collect data at point of sale on kinds and amounts of food purchased.
Profiles of data may be displayed (for example, using bar graphs) at these three levels and analyses made.
Here are some sample questions for each perspective.

  1. Food preferences
    • How much of each food item is to be prepared for a given day of the week?
    • How can the data on food preferences be most efficiently and effectively used to make decisions about kinds and amounts of food to prepare?
  2. Food preparation:
    • Of the food that is prepared,how much is purchased (and it is assumed, eaten) by the student?
An important part of this project will be to explore what kinds of data are most useful to collect; how best to collect the data; how best to make the information available to cafeteria personnel and what questions arise in the cafeteria management process that can be answered with the help of the kinds of data to be collected in this project.

Examples of questions to look at:

  •  Do food preferences actually differ between schools, or is the variation due only to chance factors (that is, are the differences statistically significant)
  •  Do food preferences actually differ between boys and girls; freshmen and seniors ?
Another direction for the project might be to do simulation runs of student consumption patterns based on food preference data. Then one could do costs analyses such as:
  • Food prepared vs. food consumed

    What are profit and loss implications ?

Some issues to consider at this point:
  1.  What are specific links of this activity to the mathematics curriculum and to the culinary arts curriculum ?
  2.  What can be done to make this project a fully cooperative one between Davea and the comprehensive schools. Example: The idea of the Davea class identifying a problem and then calling in a team of statistical consultants to solve the problem has potential and needs to be pursued.
  3.  How can technology be better used to promote communication between the Davea class and the comp class?