Design Challenge

Food Lab

Investigating the desirability of certain foods

Program Overview

30% of food produced goes to waste for being ‘undesirable’ often purely for cosmetic reasons. In this program students will reinvent mushroom waste to create a new food product while investigating the science of food.


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This program is delivered on location at the Whittlesea Tech School
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 Year Level

Year 7-12


2 Consecutive Days


2-3 Hours

Industry Focus

Food Science & Technology

This program aims to bring innovation into the kitchen. As food innovators, students will use the design thinking methodology and food science to tackle problems associated with food production and waste, converting mushroom stalks into a value-added product for our industry partner, Costa Mushrooms.

Students will investigate the key elements of a value-added product and will examine the properties of food to investigate how different senses contribute to our perception of taste and flavour. Students will use their findings to develop a new product and use experimental procedures to iterate their recipe.

Throughout the program students will understand the future directions of the food industry and associated education pathways through engagement with experts from Melbourne Polytechnic.

Success Criteria
  • Following scientific experimentation protocols
  • Collaborate effectively to create solutions to identified problems
  • Consider a range of tools, technologies and specialist equipment
  • Critical & Creative Thinking
  • Personal
  • Social
  • Ethical
Skills Focus
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving

Costa Mushrooms; Melbourne Polytechnic

Technology Skill Up Sessions Available

Molecular Gastronomy

A deep dive investigation into the transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking on a physical and chemical level.


A closer look at the melding aquaculture and hydroponics to balance the cycle of nutrients and nitrates between plants and fish.

Experimental Methodology

Utilising a range of different experiments, students will form points of data to draw conclusions from their research findings.