Last week, the Otters were wrapping up some of their decomposition activities. For the last 16 days, the class had been using their compost cups to help them understand the process of plant material breaking down. This process involved moisture, warmth, insects, mold, and bacteria. This week the class learned firsthand that the decomposition process can be quite stinky. Some of the compost cups included some pumpkin from the outdoor learning garden. We were pleased to see how quickly the pumpkin plant material decomposed but once the compost cup was opened we could quickly smell the gases that were trapped inside the cups. This was smell was so strong it lingered through the classroom and into the rest of the school. The Otters were very happy to send all the smelly, rotting plant material into the school compost bin.
On Friday, the Otters released the earthworms from our terrariums into our school gardens. The class had been observing the worms closely to learn about how they live and how they help the earth recycle dead plants back into the nutrient rich soil. The students were able to observe how quickly the earthworms consumed the plant material and oatmeal they were given in their terrarium. The class was excited to watch the worms spread out in their much larger home in the outdoor garden beds.