Cheldelin Middle School recently took a group of 7th graders on a field trip to examine the Law of Conservation of Matter and Mass, which proves that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words, everything must be somewhere. In this unit, students explored this concept by tracing the journey matter (our food) takes from the farm to the table and beyond. Students also learn how matter can be transformed through chemical and physical changes.
For this all-day unit kickoff students traveled to four different sites. The sites included a farm, where the farmer gave a tour and explained how food is grown. Students also participated in a bus tour of Coffin Butte Landfill where Allied Waste brings trash, the Pacific Region Composting Facility (PRC) where food and yard waste gets turned into compost, and the Power Plant where methane gas waste from the landfill is converted into electricity.
Students investigated these questions firsthand:
How is matter conserved in food production systems?
What are the energy and resource costs of producing our food?
What happens to our food waste if we toss it in the trash versus the compost bin?
How can waste be transformed into useful resources?