Welcome to the YMCA Test Kitchen
Test Kitchen Education Foundation (TKEF) and YMCA are excited to announce the merger of their programs. Rest assure that all Test Kitchen programs will remain intact for the foreseeable future as it is our goal to continue to provide our community with the same incredible opportunities as we always have!
The YMCA Test Kitchen is dedicated to helping area students pursue higher education. Higher ACT scores are one of the paths for students to receive scholarships and acceptance into prestigious colleges. The YMCA Test Kitchen has recruited passionate area educators to craft an ACT prep course to accomplish this mission. The prep classes span five to eight weeks in preparation for the fall, winter, and spring testing dates.
YMCA Test Kitchen provides students with ACT test prep materials along with a mobile app to practice for the test from anywhere. Every class begins with a great meal prepared by local area chefs.
Food nourishes our bodies, provides comfort, and can symbolize love and security. When children help in the preparation of a meal, they feel they are making an important contribution to the adult world. This fills them with a sense of pride, personal satisfaction, and self-confidence. The YMCA Test Kitchen also believes that cooking experiences build children’s knowledge and skills in science, math, reading, and communication.
For the Community
One of the best ways to give students practice in real-world kindness is to get them involved in serving others. When students realize the impact they can make by serving and being kind to others, they begin to foster a servant’s heart, and that’s a beautiful thing. The YMCA Test Kitchen takes part in community dinners prepared and served at the St. Johns United Church of Christ. Students are exposed to the hands-on experience of cooking and serving these meals for community members in need.
Golf is a great sport for young kids to get involved in. It helps them grow mentally and physically by keeping them healthy and teaching them life skills. A golf course is also a wonderful place for kids to meet new people, immerse themselves in healthy competition, and learn the value of patience and self-improvement. The YMCA Test Kitchen provides golf lessons to students who lack the opportunity to participate in the sport of golf. Dedicated volunteers who are passionate about area youth and the game of golf come together to achieve this partnership.
The Test Kitchen has implemented an innovative music program that includes fun music theory games, culinary activities, and dedicated practice times for each student. When our youth started developing their musical skills, the Foundation wanted to provide an opportunity to showcase their talent. Thus, Friday Night Live Jam was created where students can gather at the Test Kitchen STEM Lounge to perform with community music enthusiasts while enjoying great food prepared by our youth chefs.
The YMCA Test Kitchen works with area schools to expand its mission through dedicated days set aside for each school to bring groups of students into the Test Kitchen and the Test Kitchen STEM Lounge for life-learning lessons and hands-on cooking instructions to take back to share with their families.
The YMCA Test Kitchen is committed to getting students interested in STEM subjects early in their school careers. Every Test Kitchen child has the opportunity to thrive in a modern STEM environment and becomes prepared to actively participate regardless of their background.
The YMCA Test Kitchen offers activities for area youth during the summer when schools are not in session. Cooking, History, Robotics, and Music camps are designed to keep youth engaged in academic and community activities.
The YMCA Test Kitchen’s summer programs draw students from all over the State of Iowa and many of the participants become regular visitors each summer.