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Using the Scientific Method to Recalibrate Compost

Over the last year the kids have been able to compost a lot of their lunch waste, about an average of 15 lbs. a week. Miss Araceli and Mr. Victor have been able to fully support the lunch line to glean any potential non-waste.

The part that I oversee is the compost. The kids are great about bringing the compost in and are truly enthusiastic about turning it. There are so many times when the kids are so intuitive about what the compost needs; more browns, more food, more water. This day was super fun, because they couldn’t figure it out right away which turned into a wonderful learning opportunity. We try to really engage the children in teaching them how to observe and gather ideas on what they see and as the kids transition from the lower grades to the upper grades, we like working on the scientific methods. The kids worked on identifying potential problems and testing out solutions hands-on.

In the end we worked on adding in carbon, as the compost was very nitrogen heavy and wet, pushing the air out. This particular week we had a wonderful group of interns from USC’s environmental program who helped the kids turn the compost and supported them in their deep investigations.

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