Pennsylvania based convenience store icon Wawa is now accepting nominations for the third annual Future Food Scientist Program, a unique, half-day field trip to the Wawa Innovation Center for 8th-grade students to learn about careers in food science through interactive stations educating youth on nutrition, sensory testing, food safety, and marketing.

Students will have the opportunity to apply what is learned in developing recipes to pitch to Wawa culinary experts for a chance at having their recipe featured in a Wawa store.

Awarded to one winning class, the contest is open now through Friday, February 7, and requires a teacher and/or faculty member to submit an electronic application with a compelling story as to why this program would benefit the classroom curriculum. Eligibility and application can be found here:

Wawa has partnered with Garnet Valley Middle School in Pennsylvania and P.S. duPont Middle School in Delaware, where both classes visited the test kitchen and applied what was learned to developing their own recipes. GVMS debuted Chicken and Waffles in September 2019, and P.S. duPont will announce its recipe in March 2020. It’s now time to offer this opportunity to students in New Jersey.

Mike Sherlock, Chief Product Marketing Officer. Wawa

“Wawa is proud to continue its commitment to the community by inviting local students into our test kitchen to have a hands-on, innovative experience as they explore potential careers in food science, said Mike Sherlock, Chief Product Marketing Officer. This program enables us to fulfill lives in new ways by sharing our values and commitment to quality food, while enriching the curriculum of our local schools.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.