As a community service project, FSMN sixth grade students are responsible for running the school’s composting service. This means that every day right after lunch two 6th grade students gather up food waste from all of the school’s classrooms and lunchrooms and bring it outside to one of our compost tumblers. There it gets mixed together with leaves gathered from around the school yard. In theĀ fall, sixth grade students spend two days screening our old compost and transferring the contents of the compost tumblers over to our four bin system where it will remain for another year before being screened.

In addition to running the compost program, students learn about the process of composting through additional activities. While they screened our compost students kept collected all of the living organisms they could find in the compost. While the organisms that do the heavy lifting are difficult to see with our naked eye students found lots of other critters that were helping us break down our compost.

Students also visited a local compost facility where they had a chance to learn about composting yard waste on a much larger scale than what we do here at Friends School of Minnesota. We walked two blocks over to our neighbors at Kern’s Landscape Resources on Pierce Butler Avenue. Peter Kern gave the students a tour of his composting operation.

Friends School of Minnesota sixth graders visited our neighbors at Kern Landscape Resources to see how the professionals compost.


The heat coming off of their compost piles was very impressive to the kids (they couldn’t stop digging in!). This was especially nice for me to see since on the first day of screening many of the kids were grossed out by the idea of handling our compost.


Steve Moe, Middle School Science Teacher