Keeping Christ in Christmas

The Science of Gingerbread is California’s largest gingerbread competition and display featuring more than 200 entries annually. This past Christmas season, St. Justin Martyr students shared the meaning of Christmas through their work at the competition. They took home first place in the Best Classroom category for their entry called “Straight out of Bethlehem.” 

The Discovery Science Foundation serves as the educational program-development and fundraising arm for hands-on science learning centers in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Newport Beach, California. With the community’s participation and use of creative design and engineering, spectacular gingerbread structures come to life from late November to early January. 

Individuals of all ages, organizations, and classrooms can proudly display their gingerbread structures at Discovery Cube Los Angeles and Discovery Cube Orange County for the duration of the event. Competition categories include “Best Holiday Theme,” “Best by an Organization,” “Best by a Classroom,” youth categories grouped by age and more. Participants learn about the architectural principles used to build them. Guests can investigate what holds a structure together, how can the Gingerbread Man run using a created escape vehicle. Visitors can also invent their food model to learn about the engineering design process in the Creative Edible Mystery Competition.  

St. Justin Martyr School students visit the Discovery Cube every year. Students noticed that the holiday theme had nothing to do with Jesus, and they want to share the meaning of Christmas by the work they build.  

“Every year, the students at St. Justin Martyr School perform a Christmas play for their family and friends, so [students] are well aware of what Christmas is truly about. Our room mom suggested that the 3rd grade create an entry and include the nativity, and that is exactly what they did. They decorated a gingerbread nativity on stage as 20 gingerbread people looked on and watched the school Christmas play. To our surprise and delight, the entry took first place in the ‘Best Classroom’ category for our entry title, ‘Straight Out of Bethlehem.’ The kids from St. Justin Martyr found a way to put Christ into Christmas,” said Teresa Oldham, student services coordinator at the school. 

St. Justin Martyr Parish School serves families of St. Justin Martyr Parish and families in the parishes of St. Boniface, St. Anthony Claret, St. Juliana, and St. Mary. The school has a long and robust history in the Anaheim community and serves a multicultural student body, grades TK-8th. Many physical changes have taken place over the years. Still, the school’s mission remains: to educate children to be responsible students, life-long learners, and to help them be active-faith filled students, and effective communicators. To learn more about the school community, please go to  https://sjm-k8.com/

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