Hampstead Academy’s Kindergarteners have been busy this fall in the Early Childhood Center’s “Science Explorers Program” creating a compost bin. Here, in a unit on “Soil, Worms and Composting,” they are witnessing, up close, the process of composting and soil generation. Vermicomposting, or worm composting, allows rapid composting of food waste, while producing high quality compost soil. Best of all, it's self-contained and nearly odorless! The children have observed the life cycle of the worms, the likes and dislikes of the worms, and the habitat worms need for survival. Through exploration, the children have discovered how quickly worms grow and multiply and what foods are good for worms to eat! The children have learned that this is important because as the worms digest food waste, they are creating a valuable natural resource – fertile soil!
In the Art Studio, the kindergarteners worked as a team to create a mural to represent the compost process, allowing creative expression for their learning and visually reinforcing the science concepts they have studied. The students created a backdrop of soil done by a sponge painting technique and adding sand for a “dirt-like” texture. Then they added three-dimensional red wiggler worms and fruit and veggie prints made with real vegetables for their mural worms to compost. The concept of the horizon line then came to life as the children imagined sprouts emerging from the soil and used finger printing to create the sprouts along the horizon line of the mural.
The Kindergarteners’ “Compost Mural,” as well as other student artwork, will be on display next week at Hampstead Public Library if you would like to stop by and take a closer look!
Pictured above is Early Childhood Center Director and Kindergarten Teacher Kim Cote and kindergartener Paul Seah.