It is not everyday that France is within walking distance of Germany, and Indonesia is right around the corner. In fact, this rare occurrence only happens once a year, during the Culture Fair at Steamboat Springs High School.
Freshmen students experienced a "Taste of Culture" on Thursday in Upper Emerald Mountain Pod when they explored different countries of the world. Each student of the upstairs F.L.I.T.E. program picked a country that they researched for three weeks to gain an understanding of the culture.
The students then produced a final product, including a dish from the country, a map, precipitation and climate charts, a brochure, cost and currency conversion information, and a cultural border. The finished presentations were displayed throughout the pod open to anyone who wanted to explore the cultures.
"The students gain a lot of knowledge of the country," said Linda Stahl, the science teacher for the F.L.I.T.E. "More than anything, though, they really get a taste of the culture through the food, music, and art."
The pod was filled with a diverse cultural atmosphere as high school students and teachers walked around to the different continents that were designated to separate rooms and tables. Each presentation had a unique touch, whether it was Puerto Rican music, Swiss chocolate, Nepalese incense, or Austrian costumes.
"We never really think of what's outside of our world," said Becca Herman, a freshman who researched England. "This helps us to better understand what other people's lives are like, not just our lives."
The students spent hours putting together their display boards and cooking their dishes for Thursday.
"I worked two Saturdays and after school a few days. Wednesday night it took me four hours to cook the food," said Herman.
The freshman were required to convert the amount of money it took them to make the dish into the country's currency. They were then asked to find out what percentage of a person's income it would cost to make the dish.
Jeffrey Turner, who researched South Africa, said he thought that the project was interesting.
"It was fun learning about other countries, and especially sampling the food," Turner said. "You really get a taste of the cultures."
"This project was such an extensive one that the students have pride in what they've done," said Stahl. "When you teach kids in class you never see the endpoint, it's really neat to see them put it all together."