STEM-Focused Learning with FoodCycler at STEAM School

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Steindorf STEAM School is a K-through-8 elementary located in San Jose, California. Steindorf is known for the exceptional quality of the education provided, and for their focus on sciences, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

Project-based learning integrates the core curriculum, while encouraging skills in cooperation, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

In 2017's third trimester, Steindorf's project of choice looked at the impacts of food waste on the environment as part of the Environmental Advocacy Project (SEAP). To support learning in this area, Juli Nash, educator at Steindorf STEAM School reached out to FoodCycler in an effort to limit their food waste and educate their students on the importance of waste diversion.

Did You Know?

The average student will waste an average of 882 lbs of food waste throughout their entire school career (elementary to high school).

The unit was set up in a classroom and was immediately put to good use.

Following their lunch break, students would add their food scraps (banana peals, sandwich crusts, etc) into their class FoodCycler and track the cycling process throughout the five-hour cycle. At the end, the kids were amazed to find their scraps transformed into a dry, powdery and odourless fertilizer.

FoodCycler offered a myriad of options for experimenting:

"One experiment was seeing how your cycled food helped plants grow and how different foods affected the way in which the plants grow!"

To gather market research on the status of food waste in the modern food industry, students enthusiastically scheduled interviews with the representatives of those few fast food establishments which agreed to speak with them.

During one of these interviews, a member of the administration was pleasantly surprised to overhear a student interview team spontaneously launch into a description and - veritable sales pitch - of the FoodCycler as a waste diversion alternative when the interviewee seemed to flounder in describing their restaurants' efforts to fight food waste.