Asking the Right Questions About Food Waste


"We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell. "

-James Stephens


Is food waste a problem? if so, What are the solutions? 


These are among the many questions being asked as the 4th Grade class at Concordia International School Shanghai launches its Food Waste Inquiry Cycle. Watch this video and join the kids as ES S.T.E.M. coach Ryan Maney, along with the 4th Grade Educators, get the inquiry process rolling in a highly innovative way!






Building Awareness: Early investigation shows gaps in understanding

When some 4th Graders were discussing this, they realized that the perception of food waste wasn't understood very well by kids of younger ages. They decided to create some appealing videos to inspire thinking in their junior peers.








Early Brainstorming Yields Thoughtful Ideas


Realizing the immediacy of the issue, these kids are expressing themselves in thoughtful ways. The shock of seeing the amount of food waste generated by their own community has prompted them to consider viable solutions to this real challenge. Each of them expresses the results of class brainstorming sessions in their own way. 




Peer Education Campaigns Are Launched











Where did the food waste go? 

Since there will inevitably be some food waste, what can be done to reduce our impact on the Earth?

Join some 4th Graders in this candid video as they share their compost with a nearby organic farm.


Science-Technology-Engineering-Math Coach Ryan Maney
oversees the transfer of the compost that was derived from food

Concordia 4th Grade Students deliver precious compost to a truck
bound for partner organic farm, 500Jia.













The next chapter begins

The transfer of learning to real life concludes this story of reducing food waste. Students discovered that, even when we try our best, we still generate some food waste. The responsible thing to do, therefore, is to recapture the energy of that food through sustainable means. Concordia now has an actively managed compost system but the students themselves must be able to do something independently in order to make their learning most meaningful. Their inquiry concluded with two events that have impacted their thinking: they traveled to Concordia's learning partner, 500Jia Farm to see how Concordia's compost is used to recharge the soil in the production of healthy vegetables. They also constructed, with the help of Zero Waste Shanghai, viable vermicomposters that are ready to use in their own households. This hands-on experience truly represents the best type of learning possible as we strive to empower our children as responsible global citizens.