Educating for Sustainability


UNIT: Wastewater Context for Matter and Its Interactions

LESSON: Sewer sludge, Reactions and Fertilizer.

Part of a series of lessons in a unit called Wastewater Context for Matter and its interactions. Designed for middle school physical science, students will learn the role chemical reaction play in transforming sewer sludge into bio-solids used for fertilizer

Lesson Specs

Suitable for Grades

8th Grade
7th Grade
6th Grade

Satisfies Academic Standards: 

MS-PS1-4 - Chemical Reactions
OSPI ESE 2: The Natural & Built Environment
OSPI ESE 1: Ecological, Social, Economic Systems
OSPI ESE 3: Sustainability & Civic Responsibility

Sustainable System Focus:


Academic Subjects


Submitted by:

Jeffrey Burgard

Last Updated:

Content Connection

Scientific Principle(s)

  1. In chemical reactions elements rearrange to form new substances



  1. When bacteria digest sewer sludge, there is a chemical reaction which rearranges the sludge into biosolids and methane ga

Community Relevance

Counties across America transform human waste into high quality fertilizer - saving space in landfills and making money.

Lesson Plan



  1. Powerpoint slides
  2. Video: Waste being eaten by bacteria



  1. Notebook


The Plan

Time needed: 15 min

  1. Download the Powerpoint slides and follow the directions in the notes of each slide.
  2. Play the video and have a discussion about the breaking down of the waste

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