Thank you for your time,
Chef Subvet 763
Don't forget some maltodextrin to make bacon powder or melt-in-your-mouth olive oil (maltodextrin is a tasteless tapioca that binds to oils, turning a flavored oil base into a powder consistency). :) I wish I had a high school culinary teacher like you, researching ways to spruce up the curriculum! Your kids are going to have a ton of fun!
what exactly do YOU think gastronomy IS? (it's not about gels, foams and such perse, at least not for me....) why do you think when you finished culinary school you are not able to offer your students enough?
of course its fun playing around with things but what's most important is that your students will learn the basics first (depending what class you are teaching!).
the latter is something I see lacking in many schools (esp private ones) over here in europe.....
so basic recipes, cutting techniques, how to clean and cut up meat or fish...make them THINK about how things work and why some things do not work that way or the other.
I think you're using the Term Gastronomy Incorrectly. Don't forget that Gastronomy means "Gastronomy is the study of food and culture" You are looking for what some refer to as Molecular Gastronomy. Make sure your students know this difference.
As to some simple Molecular Gastronomy Techniques they're quite a few you can pull off with just the every day items. Some other items are cheap easy to obtain items like Xanthan gum or Agar Agar. (some times these bottles may read just Xanthan or Agar on them) you can pick these up at your local health store so that's less ordering for you as well.
One of the easiest Molecular Gastronomy type of tricks your students may like is a simple foam. One of the easiest ways of this is by adding bloomed jello to a bowl with your liquid of choice and whisking to a froth on top of an ice bath. once your froth starts setting poor into a container and chill. After its been chilled you can just scoop it out and use or eat. I know they're more harder complicated ways to make a foam out there but I think in using simple ways that the student can access at home will get them more enthusiastic than having to order all these specialty items.
You can use the xanthan Gum to thicken sauces to keep the flavor with out reducing or adding a roue or other thickener.
you can use Agar Agar to create jello type noodles and many other neat things.
Once you decide on what you plan on doing you should team up with a science teacher and you could make a class of it so both classes are learning something new and it may get more people in to cooking.
Ps: Sorry if its a bit rambled this is my first post here.