SPES students with food truck

Students from Mrs. Brooks-Smith’s fifth grade ACE classes at Sycamore Park Elementary School (SPES) recently completed an exciting project! 

They designed a mock food truck business complete with a 3D model and company website. Students had to create a menu, purchase supplies within a given budget, and build mathematical nets to be used as the equipment for mini 3D models. The students finished the unit project by working with their company partners to design and publish a website representing their own food truck business and its menu. Student Ben Mapp said, "I really liked this project.  It was like real life training if you wanted to go into business.  We talked about money, budgeting, and inflation.  It was for real."  

Near the end of the project, Timberlake’s 540, a locally owned and operated business of Culpeper, stopped by to give the students a tour of a real life food truck and answer questions about starting and running a business. Ms. Timberlake, the owner and SPES parent, treated the students to a delicious meal cooked from her food truck right in front of Sycamore Park Elementary.   

The food truck visit came as a result of one of SPES Assistant Principal Amy Cackowski’s classroom visits.  She explained, “When I was observing Mrs. Brooks-Smith during one of the many lessons of this unit, the food truck owner's child was in the classroom,” so during the lesson she thought how cool would it be to have the parent bring the food truck to the school. After the lesson, Mrs. Cackowski reached out to Ms. Timberlake and coordinated the culminating activity for the students.  

Students reflected on the experience reporting the food truck was a lot smaller than they had expected but had everything that they needed. Charlotte Shifflett said she enjoyed the project because, "You got to actually make a food truck and actually eat at a real food truck." 

A very special thank you to Ms. Timberlake of Timberlake’s 540 and Mrs. Cackowski for helping Mrs. Brooks-Smith make this project extra memorable for her students.