Fourth Grade NGSS
Biogeology and Heat Generation

Preparing the Experiment


  • Making mixture of food waste, green waste, wood chips, and horse manue.
  • Measuring heat energy from decomposition.


  • proportion
  • compost


  • food waste
  • coffee containers (to measure out proportion)
  • manue or other nitrogen rich
  • data sheet
  • green waste
  • wood chips

The actual breakdown of organic materials is accomplished by a wide variety of
microorganisms. Managing the composting process for peak effectiveness can be seen as
making sure that this vast workforce of tiny labourers is provided with everything that
they need. These needs include:

a favourable carbon : nitrogen ratio
sufficient moisture
adequate oxygen


1.  Ask students to bring in food waste from home (mainly fruit, vegetables, egg shells).   Vegetables will help with nitrogen, espcially leafy vegetables.  Fruit helps with moisture.

2.  The goal is to fill the Jora Composter on one day.  Children can help break up green waste and put in coffee containers.  Ideally put in 3 parts food and green waste; 1 part manue, and 1 part wood chips.  Also turn the Jora composter to start the aeration and mixing process.

3.  After the event, have each class take a reading once a week and record on sheet. 

4.  At the end of 3 months (or before a vacation) take out the pre-compost and put in black bins.  This will mature until students will use it at the end of the year to put in the science garden.






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