What if you could challenge your fifth-grade students to investigate the role of composting in solid waste management? With this volume in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series, you can! Composting outlines a journey that will steer your students toward authentic problem solving while grounding them in integrated STEM disciplines. Like the other volumes in the series, this book is designed to meet the growing need to infuse real-world learning into K–12 classrooms.
This interdisciplinary, four-lesson module uses project- and problem-based learning to help students use the engineering design process (EDP) to design and create prototypes of compost systems and build a full-scale composting system for school use. Students will synthesize their learning about biotic and abiotic factors, decomposition, and engineering design as they learn about various types of compost systems, create their own portable compost bins, and create materials for a composting publicity campaign at their school.
To support this goal, students will do the following:
- Identify and explain interdependent relationships in ecosystems
- Compare and contrast several ecosystems
- Describe how compost systems are designed and constructed and apply this understanding to creating prototypes of various compost systems
- Understand the concept of scale and apply this understanding to create scaled models of compost systems
- Apply their understanding of composting, compost systems, and the EDP to create a full-scale compost system for the school
- Measure various characteristics of compost
The STEM Road Map Curriculum Series is anchored in the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In-depth and flexible, Composting can be used as a whole unit or in part to meet the needs of districts, schools, and teachers who are charting a course toward an integrated STEM approach.
Part 1: The STEM Road Map: Background, Theory, and Practice 1. Overview of the STEM Road Map Curriculum 2. Strategies Used in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Part 2: Composting: STEM Road Map Module 3. Composting Module Overview 4. Composting Lesson Plans 5. Transforming Learning with Composting and the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series