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Food trucks are all the rage these days, even at RLS Middle School.

On Sept. 9, the Napa-based Mark’s the Spot mobile kitchen provided lunch for RLS students, kicking off a food science project that touches on topics from chemistry to nutrition.

Science teacher Malcolm McClain said the food truck’s visit, sponsored by the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation, made concepts like physical changes, chemical changes, states of matter, and energy transfer more tangible for kids.

By the end of the project, students will have designed their own food truck concept, complete with design and a menu that balances nutrition and deliciousness. The trimester-long project harkens back to their reading last year of Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.”

Mark’s the Spot served figs drizzled with honey, stone-ground corn muffins with fried chicken and heirloom tomato sauce, and chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. McClain said the produce was locally grown, and the project teaches kids to appreciate food that was cooked by humans, not processed in a factory.

On Friday, students toured the new Bruschetteria truck at Velo Vino, where Executive Chef John McConnell talked about food, science and pursuing one’s passions. Guest chefs will visit RLS classrooms over the next few weeks.

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