Mission: To increase student’s knowledge of various aspects of food through engaging and innovative curricula that model best practices in education. 



  1. Educate students about the importance of hand washing and food safety practices.
  2. Enhance students’ ability to practice safe food handling techniques.
  3. Educate students about where food comes from and the role processing plays in safety, flavor, health promotion, and convenience.
  4. Inform students of nutrition basics and the elements of a balanced diet.
  5. Empower students to read food labels and prepare recipes.
  6. Cultivate students’ interest and desire to pursue careers in food science.
  7. Provide educators access to materials that model best practices in education
  8. Encourage educators to use best-practices in adolescent instruction by modeling them in Hands On programming.


Guiding Research Questions:

  1. How much do middle school students know about careers in food? Does Hands On Classrooms curricula effectively engage students about careers in food science?
  2. What impacts do digital tools and media have on student’s knowledge gain and retention of material related to food safety?
  3. What is the impact of the Hands On Classrooms curriculum on student understanding of processed foods and the US Food system?
  4. What is the impact of the curriculum on student understanding of the food system?
  5. Does Hands On curricula empower students to make healthy food choices and prepare healthy snacks and meals?
  6. Do hands-on activities enhance student knowledge gain and retention of STEM concepts?


Hands On Classrooms is a platform developed to provide classroom teachers exposure to innovative instructional methods while providing real-world connections to what students are learning in the classroom. Hands On is built around state and national curriculum standards for math, science, language arts, and social studies. The activities reinforce the concepts and encourage interdisciplinary learning, peer support, and cross-classroom collaboration which increase student retention and improves learning outcomes. Currently, Hands On has three programs under their umbrella of programming. Learn more about the different programs by visiting the programs tab.

Hands On collaborates with partner schools to offer training workshops to familiarize teachers with the content and the underlying instructional theory of the curriculum. All of the materials necessary to implement Hands On are provided to participating schools at no financial cost to the school. This is possible through the generous contributions from government agencies and partnerships with industry organizations and foundations.