6th Grade STEAMers Set Out To Create a Restaurant


Eeva Sogliuzzo and Eliana Flores

The second annual Restaurant Project, a rather delicious one, has just began!  The Restaurant Project is part of the 6th grade STEAM Magnet curriculum, which focuses on Project Based Learning (PBL).

The main purpose of this project is to create a successful restaurant that will contribute to the revitalization of downtown San Pedro. 6th grade students are actually solving a real-world problem. The project is a big showstopper in San Pedro. There has been an estimate of  300 people who attended this event last year. Student’s have different restaurant cuisines that need a place in San Pedro, unlike restaurants that are Italian, Seafood, etc.

There are about ten groups in each advisory with four to five people in each one. They will be competing for a spot in the Grand Finale event, where five groups will compete for the final five on April 13th. 2018.

The students will use the Design Thinking process to develop their projects. The Design Thinking process involves a cycle of five things: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

In the empathy phase, we had to interview potential customers about what they wanted in a restaurant. For the define state, we had to come up with a restaurant that fulfills a need for San Pedro citizens. For the ideate stage, which is what we are currently doing, we are ideating our restaurants’ look, feel, food, and many more details. For the prototype phase, we are building a design from cardboard in Ms. Ito’s that represents our restaurant. We are also prototyping a menu with different diets and needs. For the test stage, we are presenting our projects to all of the STEAM 6th grade teachers.

Using the design thinking process, students spent a lot of time in the empathy stage, where they immerse themselves in the restaurant experiences they are creating in their projects. Some field trips events that the 6th graders have done in relation to the project were a trip to downtown San Pedro to observe the area, a lunch trip to a local restaurant, which include Senfuku, Philie B’s, Pappy’s Seafood, Jackson’s Place, the San Pedro Brewing Company and Babouch. The 6th graders also went to the Getty Museum to observe the architecture and get inspiration for the art.

In addition, the 6th grade STEAM teachers recently hosted a food tasting with foods and spicing from around the world.

Ms. Ito hosted the Asian room featuring Japanese and Korean spices and dishes.

Students were able to taste different salsas and desserts in Ms. B’s Latin Room.

For English class, we practiced the Design Thinking process first by doing the Morning Routine Challenge. My partner gave his morning routine and I tried to find a problem he could fix in his morning routine. Then I had to ideate something to help him with his problem. Next, I prototyped a clock that tells him when to go to bed so he would get better sleep. Finally, I tested it and got feedback for my prototype. This is an example of the Design Thinking process.

In the technology elective, we are mainly focused on building a Scrum board and creating a website. A Scrum board is what keeps your sprints organized and the team members on task. A Scrum board is basically a digital list of tasks each group needs to accomplish in order to move forward with the project. It has three columns; to do, doing, and done. Each group makes their own board. Each student attaches their digital project to the right box.

In Ms. Ito’s math class, we made a 3D sketchup model on the computer to design a restaurant based on a lot on sixth street and Pacific. In a 3D sketchup model, you digitally build walls and a restaurant to digitally display our design and interior. We have to take measurements extremely seriously otherwise it could change the whole entire outcome of the  restaurant.
In Mr. Rahmanous science class, we are focusing on energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and nutrition. Students will also be cooking a dish for STEAM teachers based on their cuisine dish of choice. This will give students an opportunity to explore their cuisine choice.

In Mr. Boysen’s history class, we are finding the historical connection to our cuisines. Each restaurant is going to have a historical connection like either a dish, picture. etc. We are also researching about ancient cuisines from different cultures. Our menu must have a historical connection to a dish.

For example, my group (i8) is doing a Japanese cuisine. We have a tuna dish that connects to the Japanese-Americans that settled on Terminal Island in the 1940s. They made a booming tuna business that was successful and they became known for their tuna.

This project will consist of long days work for the STEAM 6th graders. It will take time and commitment at school and after school. This project has already begun, and Sprint 2 has taken underway so now we will see what group tops the cake and take home the grand prize of first place. Will it be a group from Ms. Benavidez, Ms. Ito, Mr. Boysen, or Mr. Rahmanou’s advisory who will win it all. We will see soon on April 13th…