"Where Does Garbage Go?" Earth Day Experiment

Recycling Experiment for Earth Day
Photo Source: Little Warriors

Teach your kiddos all about reducing and recycling with this amazing Earth Day experiment featured by Katie over at Little Warriors! Get their little minds racing thinking of ways they can help to recycle by putting the concept into action.

Where Does Garbage Go? Experiment

To complete the experiment you will need:

  • Cheerios
  • Small clear plastic cups
  • Markers
  • Paper plates and spoons
  • Icing

Start the project off with a class discussion about recycling. Do your kiddos really know what happens to trash that is not recycled?? For example, do they know that tires take up a large amount of space at a dump, can sit there for thousands of years and they don't break down? Take time to explain the concept of a dump and a landfill, and then tell them all about how we can help to stop it!

After the discussion, divide your class into small groups and give each group a clear cup half full or so of cheerios, which will represent the tires in this experiment. Have them document the height of the 'tires' in the cup by drawing a line on the cup with marker.

Step 1, Recycling Experiment for Earth Day
Photo Source: Little Warriors

Then, have one student in each group use the end of a marker to smash the cheerios into crumbs and take note of how much they reduced the amount of tires by breaking them down.

Step 2, Recycling Experiment for Earth Day
Photo Source: Little Warriors

With the amount of tires reduced, have your students mix them together with a bit of icing and poor the mixture onto a paper plate to form a road. Icing is just one example of something you could use as a binder!

Side Note: Katie provides the exact instructions, along with several other activities to go with this unit in her TPT store if you would like a complete breakdown of what was used with her class.
Step 3, Recycling Experiment for Earth Day
Photo Source: Little Warriors

What a GREAT way to illustrate the concept of reducing and recycling with your kiddos! And when they are finished, have them document the process and their findings. Here's an example from Katie's class:

Results of Recycling Experiment for Earth Day
Photo Source: Little Warriors

Make sure you stop by Little Warriors for additional Earth Day inspiration!

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