Summer 7-25-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jason Miller

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Michael Macken

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Katharine Niemczyk


The research question addressed in this project is: how does composting at school change the way middle school students perceive their ability to positively impact the earth? The motivating factor for this capstone was the lack of awareness middle school students seem to have in regards to the waste they create and how to handle their waste. This capstone delves into the impacts of service learning combined with environmentalism. Since service learning is most impactful when it is student-led, students brainstormed ideas around waste management at their school and concluded that composting should be part of the plan. Students designed, built, and decorated a wooden composting bin that will be used to help start the process at school in the following school year. The researcher describes both positive and negative shifts in students’ attitudes towards their ability to make a difference for the environment as a result of the study.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Interview, Survey


Environmental Studies, Science

Included in

Education Commons