Lettuce Grow Together!
At Carnegie Science Center, we recognize that every child should have equal access to an environment that fosters curiosity, encourages the desire to learn, and explores all realms of science. We’ve teamed up with Growing Great and Del Monte Foods, Inc., in their National STEM Education Initiative to educate students and families on the science of planting, growing, and eating healthy foods.
Our Lettuce Grow Together! program will feature storytimes, experiments, and activities exploring the science behind fruits and vegetables and the importance of nutrition — all while helping to inspire healthy eaters.
April’s theme: Down in the Dirt
READ: Join us for a Facebook Live storytime on Mon., April 26 at 11 am! We will be reading “Compost Stew” by Mary McKenna Siddals, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, and published by Penguin Random House.
WATCH: Combat food waste by turning vegetable scraps into broth!
Plus, check out our conversation with North Hills Community Outreach about growing and harvesting lettuce!
DO: Learn how to compost at home with this eco-friendly activity!
Composting at Home
- Empty plastic two-liter bottle
- Sharp scissors
- Two medium sized bowls
- Some material from the “brown” list
- Some material from the “green” list
- Dirt from outside
- Flat dish
- Spray bottle of water
- Dish towel
- Brown carbon-rich: Dry leaves, straw, hay, chopped twigs, newspaper/other non-glossy paper, cardboard, eggshells, brown paper bags
- Green nitrogen-rich: Fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, fresh grass clippings, coffee grounds/filters, tea leaves, fresh leaves, hedge clippings, garden waste
- Avoid: Meat, grease, oil, salt, dairy
- Clean the plastic bottle and remove the label. Ask a grownup cut off the top of the bottle 1–2 inches from the neck and set aside. Ask the grownup to use the nails to punch 8–10 holes around the bottle at various heights for air and drainage.
- Gather your “green” and “brown” materials. Cut, chop, and crush them into 1-inch pieces or smaller, keeping the greens in one bowl and browns in the other.
- Put the bottle on the tray and add some dirt to the bottom of the bottle. Add a layer of “brown” material and use the spray bottle to wet the first two layers.
- Add a layer of “green” material, then continue to alternate thin layers of dirt, “brown,” and “green” material, spraying water every few layers. Fill up to about 4–5 inches from the top.
- Flip the top of the bottle upside down and place in the bottle’s opening to use as a funnel.
- Keep your compost bottle in a sunny place and keep a towel over it when you are not using it.
- Check your composter every day. Add some water through the funnel to keep the whole thing damp.
- Feel free to record your observations each day! You can write in a science journal or take pictures. Compost can take up to a few months to be ready for planting, but track your observations to watch it change over time!
Safety: Make sure to have your grownups use sharp tools.