Six students from Butler Middle School recently got a taste of what it’s like to be Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket — and, fortunately, nobody turned into a giant blueberry.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience for overall winner Isaac Ison and his Campfire Crunch bar and finalists Victoria Jardine, Matthew Jensen, Marin Fail, Isla Croft, and June Merrell included special golden tickets and even a hands-on tour in a chocolate factory
It was all part of an annual English class project for Butler Middle sixth-graders.
First, students read Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the beginning of the school year. The new middle school students were then assigned to channel their inner-Willy Wonkas by creating a chocolate-based candy bar, slogan, tagline, and marketing label.
After that, students vote to select five finalists and an overall winner. They receive golden tickets to visit Utah State’s Aggie Chocolate Factory and help make the winning candy bar.
Ison’s confectionery concoction was an homage to s’mores, the mouth-watering camping treat that offers a tasty blend of chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers.
Campfire Crunch combines milk chocolate made from a Swiss recipe, morsels of Golden Graham cereal, and mini marshmallows. As the tagline “A night under the stars” suggests, the candy bar is reminiscent of delectable desserts made around the campfire.
The students had a blast during their field trip to Utah State’s chocolate factory, which is the only academic bean-to-bar learning and research facility in the United States. Ison especially enjoyed seeing how chocolate is made in a real factory. He got a kick out of doing the molding and seeing his actual label, too.
“I was kind of surprised like, ‘Whoa, this has so much science behind it!’” he said. “It was really, really fun and exciting to come here and get to experience the different types of ways they make chocolate.”
Last year, the Butler sixth-grade students were tasked with inventing a soda flavor and designing a bottle label. The winner, Emery Gallegos, saw her “Sunset Blend” made and distributed by Real Soda in California.
English teacher Mark Sanderson likes how the Willy Wonka project “really gets to the heart of education,” with students applying things they learn in the classroom in a real-world situation.
The Campfire Crunch bars will be distributed to Butler Middle later this spring.