A Foodie’s Take on an ISP

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Lily Campbell While some students stress over which courses to jam into one semester, others are inspired to create their own course: what we at Latin call an ISP. Short for Independent Study Project, ISPs were introduced into the Latin curriculum in order provide an outlet for students to pursue specific interests that span beyond the course catalog walls. In an ISP, students create their own semester-long lesson plan, complete with a goal they wish to accomplish via the curriculum, as well as an explanation for how their ISP will enrich their learning. Lily Keiderling, a senior and avid foodie, chose to use her science skills and knowledge of cooking to pursue her Molecular Gastronomy, or food science, ISP. She began her journey last year, working with Mr. Amankona as her advisor. With Mr. Amankona, Lily’s goal was to reinvent popular foods, such as caprese salad and milkshakes, by altering the textures and appearances. Her very first project was making honey “caviar” by forming the honey into small spheres made completely of honey, but reminiscent of the texture of caviar. Following her success with the honey caviar, Lily used more adventurous foods in her “spherification process,” such as turning creme brûlée, milkshakes, and smoothies into spheres. This year, Lily decided to up the ante. With Mr. Phipps as her new mentor, Lily has switched to focusing more on the science behind everyday cooking processes, studying baking soda, yeast, and tempering chocolate. Lily’s current experiment is “looking into how various types of sugars brülée differently,” a concept combining both Lily’s love for cooking and her molecular biology skills. Because of the new food regulations at school, Lily has been conducting her recipes at home, meeting with Mr. Phipps only on Day 1s to brainstorm new experiment ideas or discussing the result from her previous food endeavours. Besides lab reports, the only work Lily turns in is the food itself, which, for a school course is pretty cool to think about. “Last year,” Lily said, “the science office and [her] English class were her best taste testers.” Since I was on Project Week with Lily my freshman year and got to experience her culinary wizardry first-hand, I can only imagine the amazing things she has created in the past and will continue to create!]]>