This article discusses ways in which composting might be used to mentally engage students with science content. Incorporating a compost pile in the classroom provides ample connections to future science content (e.g., conditions necessary for the life of organisms in a well running aerobic compost, what decomposition means in a biological sense, aerobic vs. anaerobic decomposition, food webs, respiration, recycling of nutrients, landfill issues, etc.). Also, reflecting the complexities of effective science teaching, the article makes clear the crucial role of the teacher during the activity. The science content and activity addressed in this article are appropriate for 9th - 12 grade biology or general science students. The lesson could easily be modified for 6th – 8th life science students by making appropriate decisions regarding what science content to forego. This article promotes National Science Education Content Standards A, C, F and G, and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 2010 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Mesick, Spencer and Hendrix, Kayla
"Keeping it Green: Using a Compost to Improve Student Learning,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 37
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol37/iss2/4