At Middletown Springs Elementary, students in fourth through sixth grade have collaborated with VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences) to measure how much waste occurs at the school. Students collect recycling/trash waste at the very end of the day and weigh it (this incorporates all the trash/recycling produced during the day).They have separate bins for types of waste: recyclables, milks, fruits, vegetables, etc. They also conduct interviews with a select number of students, where they ask why the student has waste from their meals. The students weigh each bucket to record how much of each was collected. In March, they will start analyzing the data they’ve collected, to which they can then develop ideas and procedures that may help reduce the amount of waste produced. They will also report their findings to VINS. This is an amazing opportunity for these students to not only learn about reducing waste, but also learn the importance of the scientific process to develop solid conclusions. Students will produce an end product that will display their data/findings at the Science Symposium at VINS in May. Make sure to keep checking back to see how this project progresses!