Superfoods Program Showcase
Students explore the use of Spirulina as a “food of the future” to help address the ever-increasing pressures of climate change and population growth on global food security.
The design thinking process allows students to research and empathise with personas and real-life settings in the City of Monash. With this knowledge, they ideate, prototype and pitch solutions that incorporate elements of food science, industrial design and analytical techniques.
Students are given the task of designing an all-encompassing Spirulina Unit that grows, monitors and produces a Spirulina-based food product for a setting and demographic within the Monash area. Students are first exposed to a variety of personas and relevant settings. In a team, they then select one of each on which to focus their research and ideation. The students break off into expert groups to learn about different elements required to develop a Spirulina Unit. The expert knowledge is then combined in a collaborative process to produce a prototype plan for a unit that meets the needs of the setting and the persona originally selected.
Alternative agriculture techniques, open source bioprinting, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography make up the core components of the technologies that support this program.
Students explore a potential future where agriculture has been redesigned to scale alongside our increasing population while meeting its needs. In this future, students work together to design and market a new self contained food dispenser that can operate in a multitude of settings. Students are supported in this inquiry through exploring alternative agriculture designing, testing, and analysing performance of algae photobioreactors, experiencing food psychology through experimentation with bioprinting and flavors, and quality control through use of High Performance Liquid Chromatography platforms.
Special Education Modules
Five modules that provide students from Special Education settings with access to the concepts and technologies explored in the Superfoods program are available for download.
The concepts of food production, food manufacturing, and product development are explored in the modules available for download on this website. These modules are: i) Manufacturing Food Processes, ii) Manufacturing and Food Packaging, iii) Constructing a bird feeder, iv) Healthy Food Groups, v) Constructing Simple Machines. Teachers can mix-and-match concepts that scaffold parts of the curriculum depending on the technologies available at their school.
Connection to Industry Pathways
The Superfoods program facilitates exploration of the global challenges entrepreneurs are overcoming through alternative biotech approaches inspired by organizations like Cellular Agriculture Australia and companies like Vow.
Through the Superfoods program, students apply biotechnology practices to solve similar challenges to companies like Vow, a lab grown meat company. Research continues to pile up supporting a need for agricultural production to increase by 20%-100% in 2050. Not only this, but the overall impact of this increase in production through greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation needs to be minimized. Monash Tech School equips students with the tools and knowledge to begin tackling this growing problem.