Fifth graders are learning about growing environmental science studies with composting, as they participate in  a hands on approach to being good stewards of the earth’s bounty.

At Echo Hill Elementary school in the Linn-Mar Community School District in Iowa, students are participating in an ongoing composting project built by their teacher over the summer.

Learning enrichment opportunities teacher Andrew Allen began the program as a part of an environmental science unit.

“We do this unit called ‘planet problems’ where we talk about the seven steps of waste management, how we can be better stewards of the Earth and how we can really take care of the Earth all together. Within it, we talk about composting,” Allen said.

More about this course at

Currently, 30 percent of what Americans thrown in the garbage is food scraps and yard waste. Composting is not only an alternative to landfills, but adds benefits to garden soil for plant growth.

Several days a week, students line up after lunch and dump the leftover food into compost buckets.  They then put the contents of the buckets into the compost bin, along with yard waste brought to school by Allen and his students. Fifth graders are managing the project during the school year, and the resulting compost will be used on school grounds, or donated to area homes.

Continue reading