Pollution is a kind of damage to the environment. Substances or wastes cause it. Some pollution breaks down quickly. However, some might take thousands or millions of years to break down. Therefore, food waste is a global problem. It is threatening environmental, social and economic sustainability.
In this learning scenario, we are planning to find solutions to prevent environmental pollution. For instance, we can use homemade waste. In addition, we will have a useful product. Firstly, students will learn a way of preventing environmental pollution. It will be by recycling food waste at school or in their household. They will use a simple method. Secondly, they will be simulating the worm’s role in nature. Worms are used to recycle food into valuable soil. Thirdly, students will produce fertilizer for planting. They will help to clean the environment. Moreover, the pollution will decrease with the help of recycling. As a result, students will discuss other solutions for pollution. Also, they will prepare a final presentation of their findings. Some will prepare posters in Turkish or English.
Age of students: 14-15
Time: 3 lessons (1 or 2 months to see the results)
- Offer solutions to prevent environmental pollution in local and global contexts.
- Understand multiple solutions to each problem.
- Learn a way of preventing environmental pollution by food waste recycling.
- Simulate the worm’s role in nature.
- Explore biodiversity and the importance of its conservation.
- Develop speaking skills.
- Enhance their 21st-century skills.
To achieve the objectives:
Flipped Classroom, Project-Based Learning (PBL), Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) Learning, Peer Learning, Collaborative Learning, STEM Learning are used.
- A worm house with three boxes (24″x18″x8″)
- A lid
- Moist newspaper strips
- Red worms (Eisenia foetida)
- Raw fruit and vegetable scraps
- Humic soil
- Assay balance
- Youtube videos
- Google documents
Students have some documents to read before the lesson and activities. They watch videos about worm farming and soil fertility before the lesson. They discuss the different solutions for pollution and the importance of biodiversity. Finally, they fill a padlet.
Promotion: The teacher will explain the lesson subject. Students will be divided into 4 or 5 groups. They start group work.
Perception of meaning: The teacher reminds students about safety during the experiments. Firstly, the teacher instructs to discuss pollution with each group and give the advice to solve it. Then, the teacher will explain the importance of worms in nature. After all, the experiment “A way of preventing environmental pollution by recycling food waste” will start to be done.
The worm farm: Use a box (24’’x18’’x8’’ or similar to this size. The depth must not be too much. Worms will not go under 60 cm). Before using it, rinse out the box. Add some wet newspaper strips to the bottom and cover it with soil. Wait for a week to create a suitable condition for worms.
Calculate the weight of the worms (Eisenia foetida or Lumbricus rubellus) with an assay balance before putting them into the box. A Mathematic teacher can help the students with calculations. Students will compare the weights before and after to see if there is a difference or not. Then add them into the box.
Use the raw fruit and vegetable scraps for feeding the worms. Cover the food with wet newspaper (Avoid orange rinds and other citrus fruits, which are too acidic).
Then cover the box. Check the humidity of the box constantly. Open the cover (lid) for a while in hot weather for ventilation. If it is necessary, slightly moisten the environment by spraying water. Keep the temperature between 15-30⁰.
Check the garbage if they are gone or not. Wait till compost occurs.
Remove the finished compost from the box.
Take out the worms. Calculate the weight of the worms after the harvest. Compare the first weight and the last weight of the worms.
Discussion of results
Students analyse the results of the study. They think scientifically. Firstly, they compare the first weight and the last weight of the worms. After that, they discuss the differences. In addition, they discuss recycling food waste with worms and other solutions for pollution with brainstorming techniques. One of the students stimulates the worm’s role in an enjoyable way via Scratch.
At the end of the experiment, they had learned recycling, pollution, the importance of decomposers and biodiversity. The compost will be used to plant something in their gardens or at home. Also, it can be directly mixed with soil in the garden. Then the evaluation of the work will be done.
At the end of the activities, they presented the results to their peers by using Web 2.0 tools. Also, they did presentations for all.
They created a puzzle with some of their posters.
Finally, the teacher asked students to fill a google document as feedback.
Thank you so much.
Congratulations! I like the idea of using the worms at home. I think all people must do a kind of worm box in their house.
A fabulous work. Cogratulations..
Your work is very beautiful and original. I wonder the result. 🙂 Congratulations.
As a teacher, you are giving studentą the skills they need to go out into the world and succeed.
Thank you Irena for your kind comment.