Kelly Murray – Riverside Elementary School
School Enrichment Project
How can we make our school more environmentally responsible? This essential question will guide our enrichment project if we win grant funding!
Currently, the fifth grade students of Riverside Elementary School participate in a three-day, hands-on environmental science experience. During this overnight opportunity, the students expand on their content studies that focus on the Next Generation Science Standard, Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics.
Several past classes have returned from this experience and begun a single vermicomposting bin for the classroom. Our goal would be to expand our vermicomposting operation at Riverside, and create different trash bins for the cafeteria. These bins, specifically identified for food waste, recyclables, and trash, would help our school community become more environmentally responsible. By expanding our current single-bin operation, we can continue to support student learning in the area of science, and provide opportunities for cross-curricular connections. Students could write letters to local representatives arguing the need to be more environmentally responsible; texts could be read on vermicomposting operations; students could write how-to paragraphs to share with other schools about how to begin a vermicompost bin; students could gather data on the amount of food waste collected, and compare the results over time.
Establishing a vermicompost operation at Riverside would also allow us to build relationships with local businesses and volunteer operations. We plan to reach out to Veteran Compost to collect our food waste. Veteran Compost is a “veteran-owned business focused on turning food scraps into high quality organic compost in Maryland, DC and Virginia.” To further support our endeavors, we would also organize a trip to visit Veteran Compost to show students how an environmentally friendly business operates, and to allow students to see the product of their work.