Grocery store becomes classroom

Glenn Gullickson's picture
KEVIN ALLEN, Arizona Weights & Measures investigator, explains liquid volume measurements to Sonoran Sky fourth-graders last month at Fry’s Food and Drug in Avondale. To see all photos from this shoot, go to www.westvalleyview.com/pictures. View photo by Jordan Christopher
KEVIN ALLEN, Arizona Weights & Measures investigator, explains liquid volume measurements to Sonoran Sky fourth-graders last month at Fry’s Food and Drug in Avondale. To see all photos from this shoot, go to www.westvalleyview.com/pictures. View photo by Jordan Christopher

Pupils get lesson in weights and measures

How many ounces are in a gallon?

Questions such as that were answered when a grocery store became a classroom for a group of fourth-graders from Sonoran Sky Elementary in Glendale.

The March 3 field trip to a Fry’s Food and Drug in Avondale was part of an Arizona Department of Agriculture project observing Weights and Measures Week.

Cesar Rodriguez of the Weights and Measures Division told pupils how measurements were standardized back in 1799, when President John Quincy Adams signed the first weights and measures law.

Rodriguez said his agency’s mission to check pricing, scales and fuel meters “makes sure you get what you pay for.”

It may be awhile before the 9- and 10-year-olds are paying for groceries, but most indicated they’ve been to the grocery store with their parents.

The children learned that their math skills have a practical use in a store where items are measured by ounces and gallons or weighed by pounds.

Michelle Wilson, associate director of the Weights and Measures Division, said the lesson in consumer education was the result of coordinating with schools and grocery stores.

It provides kids with an education they can use every day in their lives,” she said.

In the meat department, the youngsters saw a demonstration of scales and learned that prices charged for items sold by weight don’t include the weight of packaging.

At other stations, there were lessons about checking volume of containers and how fuel is measured and delivered.

At the checkout counter, pupils got a hands-on lesson about the importance of accurate pricing by scanning products.

Howls heard in the store during the event weren’t a reaction to prices but marked a visit by Howler, the mascot for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The program also offered pupils field trips to grocery stores in Glendale, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma.

And to answer the question posed in the first paragraph of this story, 128 ounces are in a gallon.

 

Glenn Gullickson can be reached at ggullickson@westvalleyview.com.

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