Students learn the science behind reducing and utilising organic waste as a resource by turning it into natural fertilisers.

Two children shovel some compostFor Curriculum levels 2 to 4 students investigate the methods of hot heap composting and vermicompost.

Students will layer ingredients in a bin to make hot compost and learn how to maintain a worm farm, harvesting vermicompost and liquid fertiliser.

For Curriculum levels 4 to 8 students learn the method of hot heap composting and investigate the anaerobic fermentation of food scraps using EM Bokashi.

Year level 4 to 13
Curriculum level 2 to 8
Availability Available year round
Times 9.15am to 11.45am or 12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site EcoDepot/EcoDrop (Metro Place Bromley)
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35
Requirements Closed-in shoes must be worn

Risk analysis and management (RAM)

Programme outline

Key messages

Organic waste as a resource. We can reduce and utilise organic waste by decisions we make. We are all responsible for the waste we produce. Sustainability, personal and social responsibility for action, natural cycles for dealing with waste, organic waste as a resource.

Lesson intentions

Students will discover the six important ingredients for good composting and how to use them for successful hot heap composting.

Students can then either:

  1. Discover how to maintain a worm farm by correct feeding, and adding suitable bedding, how to harvest the castings and worm tea (liquid fertiliser), or
  2. Discover how effective micro-organisms (EM) can be used to compost food scraps by anaerobic fermentation.

Key competencies

  • Participating and contributing – students will become actively involved in exploring sustainable choices in order to reduce waste.
  • Thinking – developing an understanding of processes through action
  • Managing self – contributing to sustainability of their environment.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • explain at least one way that we can reduce waste in our lives
  • explain the cycle of organics
  • explain the process and methods of making compost for home or school
  • identify the correct materials to go into the Organics wheelie bin and explain some maintenance tips
  • identify actions they can take to encourage better use of organic resources in their lives.
Learning areas Strands Curriculum level Achievement objectives
Science Living world 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 Life processes
Science Living world 3 and 4 Ecology
Science Living world 8 Ecology Evolution
Science   3 and 4 Properties and changes of matter
Science Nature of Science 2 Participating and contributing
Social Sciences Material world 5 Understand how peoples management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability
Health and Physical Education B. Movement Concepts and Motor Skills 2 and 4 B2 Positive attitudes
Mathematics and Statistics Geometry and Measurement 2 to 6 Measurement