Activity details: In this simple experiment the class will have the chance to study the different ways that waste materials break down. The class will bury a variety of ‘waste’ materials and dig them up at regular intervals to see how they are breaking down. This activity can be extended over several weeks or months, with the class revisiting the waste materials each week and recording their findings.
Key lessons and understandings of activity: The class will undertake a simple science experiment aimed at determining how different types of waste take different amounts of time to break down. The class will find that some types of waste break down very quickly, while others are very, very slow.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
- Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
- Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life (ACSSU004)
- Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
- Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
- Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)
- Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
Syllabus Outcomes: STe-4WS, STe-9ME, STe-7NE.
Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor/Outdoor
Duration of activity: 60 mins to setup then ongoing to collect results
Resources needed: Burial site for waste, digging tools, gloves for teacher and students to avoid contact with waste, different types of waste (glad-wrap, plastic bags, milk bottles and water bottles), printed sheet for recording waste.
Homework and extension opportunities: None
Keywords: Waste, burial, plastic, food, resources, energy, waste.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.