Compost. We just turned one of the Clarke Middle School compost piles. Did it look like brown gold? Yes. Is there a ton of it? Uh huh. Did students collect the compost? Absolutely. Are there ketchup packets, plastic cups, and metal forks? There are many of these! Did the students pass by it and say, “what stinks?” Of course. Did the CMS students turn the piles? Uh…some of it, but that work is what community members are for!
The middle school composting systems are not perfect. But they are just about the perfect teaching tool. Students can see them, touch them, and smell them. They can weigh them, measure them, add material to them every day in the school cafeteria or in ag science, FACS, and other classes. They can be the subject of science fair projects, experiments, poems, and songs. They can reduce landfill waste and the school’s carbon footprint.
And if you are ever lucky enough, a compost pile can be used to make art!