The container is divided into three separate compartments, which allows for a range of interesting experiments. A child could place 3 different materials in each and make observations or records of the different decomposition process of each. A child could also make a 'time-lapse' observation by placing the same material in each compartment but at different times, thus creating a live demonstration of the varying stages of the decomposition process. The containers could also be used to highlight the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable materials - a plastic could be placed in one compartment to be contrasted beside materials that will decompose to help children understand why some materials cause greater or longer-lasting damage to the earth. The compost container also includes thermometers to assist your child's scientific observations and comparisons.
The compost container comes with a teachers' guide which is useful for any adult - teacher, parent or family member - who would like ideas and inspiration about how to present this material and encourage a child's learning.
The overall container is 30cm W x 10cm D x 20cm H (consisting of 3 separate compartments each measuring roughly 10cm x 10cm x 20cm).
This is a great resource for the home but would also provide endless fascination for students within a classroom environment. In an early childhood setting it would also demonstrate the school or centre's commitment to the National Quality Standards. Within the NQS Quality Area 3, Standard 3 requires that "The service takes an active role in caring for its environment and contributes to a sustainable future." Early rounds of NQS assessments have indicated that many centres are finding it hard to satisfy this standard, particularly since its second element requests that "children are supported to become environmentally responsible". There is no single activity or project that will satisfy this Standard but this tool would provide an excellent example of a service's commitment to teaching "environmentally responsible" habits to children.