What is really in our soil? How long does it really take for landfill waste to break down? How to reduce methane emissions?
A group of pupils from Stratford Primary and Matapu Schools are ready to tackle these challenges and more thanks to a grant from Curious Minds Taranaki and Venture Taranaki.
The grant of $14,500 has helped form the CAPOW (Curious About Processing Organic Waste) group with a group of pupils from each school.
Marlene Lewis, co-ordinator of the CAPOW group at Stratford Primary School, says the group is made up of year 3 to year 6 pupils with an interest in science.
"The pupils have come together and are working towards finding out more about the impacts of the school's waste on the environment and how to reduce that impact."
Marlene says with help of 'real-life scientist' John Coplestone, the pupils have had the opportunity to compare different soil types, such as coastal and bush, and the rate at which waste breaks down within each environment.
"The pupils have created their own compost in a bottle projects with different types of waste, from paper to plastic, to measure the breakdown rate."
Marlene says the funding as also given the pupils the opportunity to purchase a range of resources for the school such as compost bins and worm farms.
Marlene says the group was successful in gaining the grant by completing a joint application with Matapu School.
"By being able to share the learning and resources it will be great for both schools."
Kerry Nancarrow, principal of Matapu School, says the two schools working together gives her pupils the chance to join the enviro-schools programme. "Stratford Primary School is a well establish enviro-school. It will be great for the CAPOW studies to lead into Matapu also joining the programme."
Pupils of both schools will be displaying their findings at a CAPOW fair at Stratford Primary School later this year. Keep an eye on the Stratford Press for details.
See next week's Stratford Press for details about MP Chester Borrows to visit Matapu School where he spoke with CAPOW students.