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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Miami Middle School students master math through food truck project

Miami Middle School sixth-grade students gather outside Monday to check out local food trucks. As part of a math project, students designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Miami Middle School sixth-grade students gather outside Monday to check out local food trucks. As part of a math project, students designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Lacy Curry, front, owner of Big Lacy's BBQ food trailer, talks with Miami Middle School sixth-graders Monday about his business. As part of a math class project, students formed groups, designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Lacy Curry, front, owner of Big Lacy's BBQ food trailer, talks with Miami Middle School sixth-graders Monday about his business. As part of a math class project, students formed groups, designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Miami Middle School sixth-grade students had to make three-dimensional paper models of their food trucks as part of a math project teaching them about use of decimals through creation of their own pretend food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Miami Middle School sixth-grade students had to make three-dimensional paper models of their food trucks as part of a math project teaching them about use of decimals through creation of their own pretend food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Miami Middle School sixth-grade students line up Monday to check out the inside of the Who Cut the Cheese? food truck in the school parking lot. As part of a math project, sixth-graders designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Miami Middle School sixth-grade students line up Monday to check out the inside of the Who Cut the Cheese? food truck in the school parking lot. As part of a math project, sixth-graders designed their own food truck business and then met with local food truck operators to see what it's really like to run a food truck business. (By Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

They designed their own food truck business, then met with local food truck operators.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 12:01 am

With four local food trucks lining the parking lot along the building, it looked a big party Monday at Miami Middle School. Actually, food truck operators helped sixth-grade teachers dish up a real-life lesson in math.

While looking at a website where teachers share lesson plans, sixth-grade Miami Middle math teacher Angela Potchka said she found a math lesson built around starting a food truck business. She adapted it for use by Miami's sixth-grade students.

Students broke into groups and designed their own food truck and menu. All menu items had to be priced at less than $1, which forced students to add decimals when pretending to order from the menus, Potchka said. Students also had to figure out the volume and perimeter measurements of their food truck.

Advanced students also had to calculate the volume of space filled by items inside the truck, such as the stove, she said.

"I thought it would be a cool idea to have the food truck vendors come out and talk to them (students) and see the trucks," Potchka said. Six vendors replied to her inquiry about helping, and all six showed up Monday.

Those participating included Bravas, Kona Ice, Who Cut the Cheese?, Big Apple Pizza, Big Lacy's BBQ and King Arthur's Trolley. Vendors talked with students and answered questions about starting and operating their businesses.

Then students went outside to see the food trucks. The only downside: The trucks weren't serving samples.

A lot of students questioned how they were going to use what they learned during the project, but they soon found out, Potchka said.

"If you are going to work in the fast-food business, you are going to use this," she said.

Sixth-grader Emily Andorfer, 12, enjoyed the project.

In addition to working with friends in a group, "I get to learn more about what it takes to run a business," Emily said.

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