In this activity, students set up an experiment to determine the biodegradability of different substances.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • organise a group of items into categories
  • carry out a simple experiment
  • understand that some materials are biodegradable and others aren’t
  • explain what might affect how quickly something degrades
  • make predictions about the biodegradability of materials.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • discussion questions
  • student handout

Useful link

Find out more about backyard composting on this website.

Published 23 June 2008, Updated 23 February 2015