Pizz-A-Thon (research, explore, discover and create)

Facilitator Page


Sponsors make these awards possible!

Introduction: Kids will research, work in teams, explore, discover and find excitement in creating.

�Virtual Pizz-A-Thon�: 

(See "Photos & Sponsor" page on this site and the blog javascript:nicTemp()to view activities from past Pizz-A-Thons.)

Companion Websites are Linked  The program is carried out through this web site and the companion website �Pizz-A-Thon Blog� javascript:nicTemp();   The pages of the blog are hot linked to this website to make it easy to go back and forth between websites.  The "Student Blog" page is designed for students to use in posting their blog and journal notes.

Advice to Facilitators

This "student centered learning" program is flexible in adapting to the time available in classroom or club settings. Multiple subjects (science, health, art, social studies and language art) allow for activities in one day, or each week, month or year. One can easily adapt to a major emphasis in the subject of choice. Teachers in Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities prepare students in February and March with competition in April. The program is flexible enough to fit into a one day workshop.

Since this program has been designed as a �virtual� student centered learning program, your time as a facilitator has been reduced substantially and kids can work independently in their free time or a specified time provided. 

Students could leave their highlights of journal notes and questions on the "Virtual Pizz-A-Thon" page of the blog, or on the attached Word documents (files highlighted below).

Estimated Time To Carry Out The Virtual Pizz-A-Thon Version. If students have access to computers and can work independently, classroom time is reduced as illustrated below:

UNIT ONE: 2 to 4 days, UNIT TWO: 3 to 4 days, UNIT THREE 3 to 4 days, UNIT Four 2 to 3 days (two to three Weeks of 45 minute periods per day). 

Summary of Teacher Evaluations Over 18 Years

I love the hands-on learning for the kids on so many different levels - team building, careers, communications, social studies and agriculture. Teams take ownership in creating an end product.  And students use critical thinking skills (experimenting, exploring, discovering, researching, comparing, and creating). The program is so flexible to fit and adapt to one's objectives as time limits.

History-Why The Pizz-A-Thon? 

The original 1990s program has been refined over 16 years(Cedar Rapids/Marion and Quad Cities-originally conceived through Iowa StateUniversity "Vision 2020" Program, funded by the Kellogg Foundation, developed by Eldon Weber, Ag Ed and Studies Department, College of Agriculture, Ames, IA.

"Many of our kids think our food source begins at the grocery store, and do not understand the link to the farm, greenhouse, processing, marketing and distribution. In the Pizz-A-Thon, students learn while having fun. Teams create a prize pizza, trace the toppings back to the origin, develop a marketing report and compete for prizes. Individual students are judged on placemats they create for a pizza restaurant. Kids take pride in their creations and have fun while

Core Learning Standards (See Standards box below) 

See the "Sponsors and Awards" page 

Happy Joe's Pizza, and Linn, Scott and Rock Island IL County Farm Bureaus, Linn Corn and Soybean Association, Cattleman and Soil and Water Conservation District have been annual sponsors. 


FOR AN INTRODUCTORY FUN ACTIVITY: Instruct the kids to go to the Microsoft Word document by clicking on (Clip Art & Photos) BELOW. Ask them to create a poster tracing ingredients from the soil to their piece of pizza (through product stages and careers). 

They can COPY and PASTE in Word on the computer or PRINT OUT the clip art and photos and  CUT AND PASTE ON CONSTRUCTION PAPER to develop their poster

This  could be one activity one would compare on a pre-post test to evaluate the change in knowledge and perception of each child.

Preparation For UNIT ONE

This activity is being conducted as the first activity in order for students to benefit from the outcome of this experiment, allowing at least two weeks for growth of plants prior to the last day of the 

Demonstrate why we have to protect our soil and water resources...see Demonstration in Resources below.

Discover the Value of Protecting Topsoil� For Quality Pizza Ingredients! 


Teachers/club leaders may decide on the extent of activities that best fit their time schedules. For the implementation of all the activities included in this "virtual program," are adapted from Core Learning standards.

Social Studies

Communicate and work productively with others emphasizing collaboration and culture awareness to produce quality work.
Set appropriate goals
Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly in writing and speaking
Demonstrate respectful behavior to group members
Exhibit appropriate behavior when faced with conflict
Interact positively as a team member
Respect other's ideas
Cooperate with others in a group setting
Acknowledge quality efforts of self and others
Generate ideas with group members
Appropriately accept constructive feedback
Are you an active listener
Use information to make decisions
Ask appropriate questions
Follow directions
Use technology to communicate
Use various channels of communication


Plan and conduct scientific investigations.
Engage in systematic observation, making accurate measurements, and identifying and controlling variables.
Understand the concept of a fair test.
Mathematics is used to gather, organize and present data and to construct convincing explanations.
Communicate scientific procedures and explanations
Communicate, critique, and analyze work and the work of other students.
Share procedures and explanations through various means of communications.

Language Arts

Presentation of Knowledge And Ideas
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas and themes.

The blog site javascript:nicTemp() will give you background information, pictures, a place to record your journal highlights and an opportunity for you to ask questions.


Darrell Amato, Amber Mattly, Kristi Loy and Mary Handley assisted in developing some of the Pizz-A-Thon activities at a workshop held at Iowa State University in 2000.


Kids will use "Student's Business Plan" page for their activities. Go to the Quiz page to use the Pre/Post Test for evaluating the extent and success of your instructions through this program.Go to FAQs to get an overview of typical questions asked about the program.Have kids engage in the Hangman's Game for some fun and an introduction to the Pizz-A-Thon. See Student Plan page to Create Pizza for astronauts stranded on Mars.
For Church Group: Unit One, with the apple demo and experiement demonstrating the value of protecting our topsoil from erosion, provides a real opportunity to explore scriptures related to protecting our resources and food related subjects.


Publicize your Pizz-A-Thon.
Description: TV station in the Quad Cities video taped the judging of the Pizz-A-Thon bake off competition.



  • Clip Art & Photos
    Description: Fun introductory exercise one could use for a pre-post test to evaluate change in knowledge and appreciation.


Web Link
  • Pizzathon
    Description: Companion page (blog website www.pizzathon.wordpress.com) for responses, student answers, sponsor opportunities, Pizz-A-Thon review and pictures.

  • Demonstration
    Description: Two demonstrations illustrating the importance of protecting our soil and water resources.

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