Sixth graders are discovering how to learn science in the lunchroom with a composting project they have designed, which keeps hundreds of pounds of food in the past year out of landfills.
The project at Providence Middle School in Chesterfield County has students volunteer to collect uneaten food scraps from their peers at lunchtime, and then input data about what has been collected into a Google form. Nearly every sixth grader is involved in the project.
The food goes home with science teacher Nicole Rowland, who loves to see students actively composting and learning about the process. Composting started last year informally, and now that Rowland has received a $3,165 grant from Chesterfield Education Foundation’s Making a Creative Difference for expanding the vermicomposting program to the whole school, it is expanding in focus.
“I thought this was a great opportunity to touch every kid and to have them see what composting is and engage with it,” Rowland said.
Students collect the leftover fruits and vegetables. With the help of compost worms, the discarded food becomes fertilizer. When a construction project at the school is finished, the fertilizer will be used in the school garden.