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An Environmentally-Practical Science Experiment that looks at Garbage and its speed of Breakdown

Subject:

Science  

Grades:

6, 7, 8  

 

Title – GARBAGE GRUNGE
By – Judy Schneider
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Science
Grade Level – 6 – 8 (adaptable)
SCIENCE PROJECT OF THE WEEK

GARBAGE GRUNGE

PROBLEM: What kinds of garbage breakdown fastest, the most, and the easiest?

RESEARCH: Read about land fills and compost piles. Write two or three paragraphs about what you read.

HYPOTHESIS: Choose the types of garbage you want to test. Based on your research, which do you think will breakdown fastest? Which will breakdown the most? Which will breakdown the easiest?

MATERIALS:
plastic container (like a yogurt cup)
3 types of garbage (for example: vegetable peels, egg shells, mushrooms, nut shells, paper, aluminum foil, or plastic)
soil (dirt from your yard)          

PROCEDURE:
1. Fill plastic container half full of dirt.
2. Add a little water, only enough to make the soil wet, not watery.
3. Add three kinds of garbage, one from each of the sets below:
          Set 1
                    vegetable peelings
                    bread
                    food leftovers
          Set 2
                    egg shells
                    nut shells
                    paper
          Set 3
                    aluminum foil
                    plastic
                    a penny
4. Make a list of the garbage and check it every day for changes.
5. Be sure the soil stays damp. Add a teaspoon of water each day if necessary.

DATA: Make a chart to record your observations.

CONCLUSION: This is not optional. You must explain what you learned by doing this activity.
Remember that you must answer the question you asked in your original problem statement.

NOTE: BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN SIGNS YOUR WORK. PARENTS: YOUR SIGNATURE SHOWS YOUR STUDENT HAS DONE THE WORK.

TEACHER SECTION:
POSSIBLE HYPOTHESIS: The vegetable material will breakdown fastest.

POSSIBLE CONCLUSION: Students should discuss the observations made that should include each type of material.

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