The 2021 Popcorn Pep Club challenge drew an impressive array of creative entries from schools across the nation, showcasing the heart and soul of teachers and students alike. It is an absolute pleasure to look through these entries every year and learn more about you and what makes you tick, so thank you for taking the time to make us smile. We are proud of you all! Your 2021 Popcorn Pep Club winners are:
Grand Prize Winner - $2,500
School Name: Howells-Dodge Consolidated Schools
School Address: Howells, NE
Name: Teacher Marla Prusa
Principal: Jordan Brabec
During the 2021 school year, students in the Family and Consumer Sciences classes at Howells-Dodge Consolidated schools in Howells, NE have done a variety of projects to promote the positive health benefits of popcorn in the school and community. The students worked together to plan activities and engaging experiences that would educate students about popcorn and its nutritional benefits. Students used resources from the Popcorn Board at www.popcorn.org as they created their project. They planned lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students and created two games based on Jeopardy and Family Feud that contained popcorn facts. Additionally they made 10 popcorn recipes that they shared and then voted for their favorite recipe.
Secondary Prize Winner - $1,500
School Name: St. James Santee Elementary Middle School
School Address: McClellanville, SC
Name: Teacher Casey Marlowe
Principal: LaCarma McMillan
We LOVE popcorn at St. James Santee! We may be a small school, but our love for popcorn is mighty. We often use popcorn for celebrations, rewards, and "brainstorming brain food" for our scholars. We always have popcorn on hand in our school. So when we found out about the Popcorn Pep Club Contest, we knew we had to take part in it. Participating in this project was such a fun and educational experience for everyone involved. We recently received a new camera, tripod, and green screen for our media center, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out. The second grade class was also working on creative writing projects at the time, so I thought the idea of writing a movie script would help get their creativity flowing. I knew this would be a fun project, but I did not expect it to be this much fun. Please be sure to enjoy our movie, "The Popcorn Monster of St. James Santee," with a fresh bag of popcorn. Thank you for this opportunity!
School Name: Woodhaven High School
School Address: Brownstown, MI
Name: Teacher Megan Frost
Principal: Matthew Czajkowski
My Food and Wellness students learned about the "History of Popcorn and "What Makes Popcorn Pop" from the "All About Popcorn" articles. The students collaborated in partnerships to answer comprehension questions I wrote to accompany the readings. We also discussed the benefits of popcorn as a whole grain snack that is naturally low in fat and calories among other nutritional benefits. Then we went to the lab to make both stovetop and air popped popcorn to compare the two. After the taste test, students were also given the opportunity to make a microwave caramel sauce for their popcorn or season it with a variety of sprinkle seasonings. Finally, we decorated my door with "Poppin' Around The Christmas Tree" after stringing popcorn garlands.
School Name: John .W. Hubert Middle School
School Address: Savannah, GA
Name: Teacher Marissa Johnson
Principal: Brian Dotson
Our school kicked of the school year selling "Double Good" popcorn. It was lead by our PTA president Ms. Shameka. The goal of the fundraiser was to raise $500 in funds for Hubert Middle School to help teachers and staff members with various items that PTA can supply. We ended up raising $1,147 from popcorn sales. Several classes benefitted from the funds raised. The FACS classes specifically requested and received sewing supplies, which they used to create cloth Christmas tree ornaments. The FACS classes learned how to make popcorn from scratch in a FACS lab and recorded a video making the popcorn. In total there were 180 students that learned to make popcorn from scratch in grade 6th through 8th. Every student completed a nearpod lesson, which is an interactive platform. The nearpod lesson taught students about popcorn history, facts and myths. Overall all students enjoyed popcorn for a tasty snack and experimented adding different flavors.
Honorable Mention - $750
School Name: Frontier High School
School Address: Chalmers, IN
Name: Teacher Melissa Culver-Pekny
Principal: Mr. Jeff Hettinger
Our culinary students were challenged with the task to create a three-course meal using popcorn as the featured ingredient. They got down to business and created three recipes that featured popcorn from our local plant. The first course was Poppin Jalapeno Poppers, the main dish was caramel popcorn encrusted pork chops with a side of honey-glazed carrots, and the dessert was a Chocolate Caramel Popcorn cookie.
Please note: The winning schools do not need to do anything further to collect their prizes.
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