“If you were to walk into Cafe ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., you might assume it’s yet another upscale restaurant with a farm-to-table sensibility. It’s got a slick Mathieu Lehanneur-designed interior, but doesn’t look especially unusual. Then you reach the host stand. Beneath its glass top, small tubes labeled “mint” “chocolate” and “energy” are arrayed like plastic bullets. These little packages contain inhalable after-dinner mints.” L. Stinson, Wired
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: A Science-Inspired Restaurant Where You Inhale Your Dessert Mints, By Liz Stinson, Wired Magazine
“The idea is to get people to walk away with mints you breathe, says David Edwards. This is energy,” he continues, pointing to an orange tube. Amazing coffee. Edwards is the mastermind behind the Cafe ArtScience and its corresponding gallery space, Le Laboratoire. The dinner mints are AeroPods. You inhale the small cartridges of dried food particles and nutrients using the AeroLife, one of many inventions of his design aimed at revolutionizing how we consume food.
Cafe ArtScience and the U.S. outpost of Le Laboratoire officially opened last Friday, but Edwards has been at this for a while now. For the past seven years, Edwards has been running Le Laboratoire in Paris, working from a small space near the Louvre where he and his team hold exhibitions that bridge art and science. The Cambridge complex, with its restaurant and WikiBar (more on that later) is an expansion of what he and his team were able to do in Europe.
Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience in a newish building in the Kendall Square East neighborhood, a burgeoning tech hub in tech-saturated Cambridge. The two operations are linked in the way the Museum of Modern Art and its restaurant or design store are: a moneymaker (Cafe ArtScience) helping fund the benevolent educational mission of the other (Le Laboratoire)… The whole operation is a little whimsical, definitely not what you’d expect from a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard.
But Edwards has never been a typical engineer or a typical professor, for that matter. His big goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place where artists, scientists and technologists can interact outside of a university setting, perhaps over a Wikipearl bloody mary.”
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic. Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Discuss results as a class.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
Edwards___ Le Laboratoire in 2007 as a way to ___ideas that weren’t at home in___science labs or galleries. At Le Labo, exhibitions are called experiments, and they often begin with a hypothesis. The ___experiment, Vocal Vibrations, is the work of Tod Machover and Neri Oxman, both of MIT’s Media Lab. It ___how our voices___mental and physical health.
Le Laboratoire also has been where Edwards incubates his many ___companies. Theres’s WikiFoods, a company that develops___food skins that are looking to___ plastic packaging and the oPhone, a gadget that sends olfactory messages. In the context of Edwards’ ___explorations, you begin to see how a restaurant isn’t much of a stretch. The Cafe is independent of the lab, in that it’s being___like any restaurant where you can order French-leaning entrees (the veal loin en crepeniette will run you $29, the cauliflower veloute, $13) and a martini at the bar. Edwards is___to say Cafe ArtScience isn’t an outlet to promote his growing catalog of ___inventions.
quick, started, sensorial, traditional, incubate, offshoot, investigates
influence, replace, edible, opening, strange, run,
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Cafe ArtScience is located in Maine.
- David Edwards is the mastermind behind the Cafe ArtScience.
- You inhale the small cartridges of dried food particles and nutrients using the AeroLife another of his inventions.
- For the past year, Edwards has been running Le Laboratoire in Paris.
- Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience in a newish building in the Kendall Square East neighborhood.
- WikiFoods is a company that develops lists of edible foods.
- Many students from MIT visit the restaurant.
- French designer Francois Azambourg helped develop a line of Wiki utensils for the restaurant.
- Edwards is a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard.
- Edwards will be opening another restaurant soon in Boston.
Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Le Laboratoire sits across the hall from Cafe ArtScience.
- The two operations are linked.
- Edwards started Le Laboratoire in 2007.
- The Cafe is independent of the lab.
- Over time the restaurant will become more establish.
- In the morning, you could walk into the WikiBar and order a cup of coffee.
- From the start, the bar and restaurant will be serving various forms of Wikipearls.
- The whole operation are a little whimsical.
- The goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
1. The following statement was taken from the article. Rephrase it then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“The whole operation is a little whimsical, definitely not what you’d expect from a biomedical engineer who teaches at Harvard. But Edwards has never been a typical engineer or a typical professor, for that matter. His big goal is to turn Cafe ArtScience and Le Laboratoire into an interdisciplinary meeting place where artists, scientists and technologists can interact outside of a university setting, perhaps over a Wikipearl bloody mary.”
2. Would you visit this restaurant? Explain why or why not.
3. In your opinion, who would be more inclined to visit a restaurant such as this? For example young people, old people, college students etc.
Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about Cafe ArtScience from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.