As the culmination of their Design & Technology topic, Year 5 pupils from Nottingham Girls’ High School visited Annie’s Burger Shack in Nottingham’s Lace Market for a very hands-on lesson. The girls had recently been studying nutritional values and configuring burger designs based on their own themes, some of which addressed specific dietary needs (e.g. vegetarian, Halal) or cuisines (e.g. Mediterranean, Mexican).
The girls’ objective was to see how pricing, hygiene and everyday practicalities are considered when designing and marketing food products in the real world, and to then take part in a food tasting. As teacher Mr Sam Cooper explained: “We chose Annie’s as a young, innovative business model which is managed by a woman, and we linked our design topic to our North American Geography project.”
Annie’s Burger Shack is a famously popular diner in the historic Lace Market area of the city. Proprietor Annie was born and raised in Rhode Island in New England U.S.A and moved to Nottingham in 1994 where she started Annie’s Burger Shack in 2009, combining her love of real ale and handcrafted traditional American burgers. Annie was delighted to meet the girls and offer them this experience, sharing her business acumen and giving them some top tips, as well as feeding them of course!
This was a hugely enjoyable educational experience for the girls in so many different ways, as Year 5 pupil Krystal commented: “It was inspiring to hear how Annie had come from nothing and made a renowned burger company. She told us that, if you set your mind to it, girls can do anything, even break the stereotype of men's roles in business.”
Not only did the girls learn all about food and nutrition, but also product design, marketing, maths and economics – a truly multi-curricular exercise, as Mr Cooper added: “As a school, we think it’s important that our students are offered broad, cross-curricular and hands-on experiences that make learning enjoyable and memorable.”
There was no doubt that this day ticked all of those boxes, providing the girls with a glimpse of what makes a successful business woman, and what can be achieved through hard work and following your dreams.