Spotlight: Interview with Ava

We sat down with Ava (10) to hear her thoughts on math, cooking and working with kids. Read more about the entire process in her guest blog post, Cooking with Ava.

Ava (center) teaches Asha (left) and Will how to make some delicious muffins while exploring math concepts in the process.

Ava (center) teaches Asha (left) and Will how to make some delicious muffins while exploring math concepts in the process.

Q: What did you think of the cooking project?

Ava: It was good! I think it was fun and different from the banana bread that I usually make. If you have a recipe, I feel like you can make anything.

Q:  Do you like math?

Ava:  Math is my favorite subject and I love baking, too.  You need math for baking, for instance, for measuring ¼ or ½, or to know that 12 is a dozen.  You need to know how much time something takes to cook. Like, when a recipe says something takes 16-20 minutes, I usually put the timing in the middle. So if something takes 16-20 minutes, then I would put the timer at 18. So you have to figure out which number is in the middle. You don’t want to over-bake it, but you don’t want to go under either.

Q:  Why is important to measure?

Ava:  So you get the exact amount that you want. If you get too much, the food is not going to be good. If you have too much in the dry ingredients then the batter will be too dry, but if you have too much wet ingredients then the batter will be too soupy.  

Q:  What other skills do you need to be a good baker?

Ava:  Of course you need to read. You have to keep track of time and be able to tell time.

Q: What are your favorite foods to bake?

Ava: Cookies, brownies and “cookie-brownies” -- cookie on the top and brownie on the bottom.

Q: Do you cook in school?

Ava: Not really, but I remember in first grade we took a pizza bagel and cut in in half, then thirds, then fourths. Afterwards we got to eat it.

Q:  Did you know you were learning math when you cut the pizza bagel in first grade?

Ava: Yes, because the teacher told us we were learning fractions, but then when she said we were going to be having pizza bagels and everyone was like, Yayayayay, pizza bagels!

Q:  Do you think a lot of kids like math?

Ava: It depends. Math requires thinking and sometimes problems are very long so you have to have patience.

(Ava is entering 5th grade this year)

Q: What are some things you are excited to learn?

Ava: Algebra. I think it will be hard, but I’m excited to learn it.

Q:  What would you tell someone who says they don’t like math?

Ava:  I would ask them why. If they say because it’s hard, I would tell them to go to a different group that is learning different -- maybe not as difficult things -- and really focus on those concepts.

Q:  Tell me about cooking camp (Ava attended a “Cooking Around the World” camp for a week last summer).

Ava:  We usually made two recipes each day. One day we made crepes and Brazilian rice. All of the recipes are in a book that we get to keep. For each recipe we looked at our books and then the teacher would walk us through the steps, and then we got to eat it. Afterwards, we drew a picture of the food.

Thank you, Ava!