(NDEP) RENO–Jessie Beck Elementary School Tuesday became the first school in Nevada to receive a new curriculum being developed by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) to help educate students about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste to protect the environment.
As part of that day’s activities, students in teacher Bonnie Serpa’s fifth grade class learned how to build a compost column. They and their teacher received hands-on instruction from curriculum developer Mike Keith from NDEP’s Bureau of Waste Management concerning composting and its benefits.
The students built five compost columns out of two-liter plastic soda bottles; filled the columns with soil, wood shavings, green plant materials and other compost materials; and, in the coming weeks, will observe the composting process in action.
The interactive 10-12 week curriculum is designed to assist fifth grade teachers in public, charter and private schools in northern Nevada with stimulating, hands-on activities that demonstrate the value of recycling. The curriculum includes modules on landfills and what goes into them; composting; recycling of paper, plastic aluminum, glass, metals and mercury; and a concluding segment tying together all the aspects of recycling. One of the goals at Jessie Beck is to start a recycling program at the school.
Jessie Beck is one of three schools in Nevada that will be participating in the curriculum. The other two are High Desert Montessori and Sage Ridge School. The new curriculum satisfies Nevada’s fifth grade science standards. Eventually, NDEP hopes to introduce the curriculum statewide.