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Eighth graders at Robious Middle get a sweet lesson in manufacturing

Chesterfield, Va.  -  It could be the sweetest class in the Chesterfield County Public Schools district.

"I start off with our famous, well-known candy manufacturer Willie Wonka”, says Engineering & Technology teacher Mildred Britt.

Her eighth grade Technological Systems class at Robious Middle School is learning about manufacturing, packaging and selling products.  In this case, something for the sweet-tooth.

"Let's engage in it”, says Ms. Britt.  “Let's do some hands on.  What better product to do with 8th graders than candy?”

Students had to create a unique candy recipe, manufacture samples, and get feedback about their product.

"A lot of times kids, they use products, but they don't understand the background of how a product is produced”, says Ms. Britt. “I take it to a different level."

The students were also challenged to get orders and sell their candy to students, friends and family.

One group of students created a delicious treat called Emoji Gummies.

"My mom was a huge part of this”, he laughed.  “She bought $30 worth.  Since four gummies come in one pack, we had to make 120 gummies just for her.”

"This is what I live for”, says Instructional Technology Integrator Althea Hudson.  “It's amazing for me to see the kids excited about learning and taking ownership of that.”

The creations include Cocoa Caramel Coffee Pops and Oof Cups, a delicious blend of chocolate and pretzels.  The rest of the ingredients we’ll keep a secret.

“There’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going”, said Willie Wonka.

Willie Wonka (courtesy: CBS News)

But building better minds is proving to be a delicious step in the right direction for these students.