The Askinosie Chocolate University Summer Explorers are finding inspiration through the lens of artisan chocolate making to become global citizens and to embrace the idea that businesses can solve world problems. Through project based learning, students reboot the Askinosie Factory Tour, make delicious chocolate treats, create a new product concept and marketing plan, simulate the lives of cocoa farmers and create personal visions for their futures. Classroom time is interspersed with 6 visits to our small batch chocolate factory.
Week one focus is helps the students get acquainted with the unique elements of the Askinosie business model through lessons on cocoa history, direct trade and profit sharing with farmers. After a VIP tour of the factory and cocoa bean storage location, students enjoyed a Chocolate 101 tasting and began to appreciate the different flavors in chocolate. Students then take the reins to rewrite the Askinosie Factory Tour catered to specific real-world audiences and present their work to a team from the company for a chocolatey award.
“The students’ factory tour presentations this week blew right past my expectations – the topics were relevant for the assigned audience and the presentations were articulate, thoughtful and super creative. We will certainly incorporate some of these ideas to make our factory tours even more fun and meaningful” – Missy Gelner
Week two of the program focuses on corporate identity and product marketing. Students learn about brand identity, product innovation and development, product marketing and packaging. Each student explorers creates a corporate identity and new chocolate product concept. Explorers present their ideas and product mock ups to the class and company representatives. Ideas are voted upon by peers and top scoring concepts are awarded with chocolate prizes.
In the third week, the curriculum deepens understanding of the direct trade concept as the students participate in a cocoa farmer simulation game to personalize the realities of the a cocoa farmers daily life and business decisions. During this week, student explorers are offered the opportunity to virtually converse with an Askinosie farmer in Davao, Philippines, and will spend a day with an Askinosie field representative that works closely with our farmer partners in Tanzania.
Week four introduces circles back to the ideas of fulfillment and doing good which differentiate Askinosie from many other small batch chocolate makers. Students explore the concept of personal vision and goal setting. Students learn that a personal vision is hope + a plan and are led through a detailed, step by step approach to write their own vision including reflection, goal setting and planning for their future of greatness.
The Askinosie Chocolate team is truly dedicated to our Chocolate University mission – “to inspire students to become global citizens and understand that businesses can solve world problems” – throughout the year. While we partner with students at Boyd and Pipkin during the school year, we see the daily 2-3 hour curriculum through the SPS Summer Explore program as a unique opportunity to share our approach to business and information about our chocolate origin communities. The Chocolate University Summer Explore students are super engaged and excited to learn about chocolate making, our business models and the global reach of Askinosie.
“Askinosie Chocolate is happy to extend our relationship with the Springfield Public Schools into this new Summer Explore thematic format. The daily class schedule, unique factory environment and project based format offers an engaging learning experience. We are happy to open our doors to each of the students.”