Solana Center's science-based school programs inspire and empower students to live sustainably, to reduce and rethink waste, and to become change-makers on their campuses and in their communities.

Eco-Literacy Program Offerings

Designed for grades K - 12, Solana Center is proud to offer in-person or virtual environmental lessons to students. Teachers can choose one or more of these NGSS-aligned lessons to meet their needs.

Nature Never Wastes

From the food scraps in your kitchen to the leaves on a forest floor, nature recycles every living thing back into useful resources. Let's explore how we can work with nature's systems to keep our planet healthy. Available as a single lesson or an in-depth, two-part series:

  • Food Scrap Solutions: A healthier planet starts in your kitchen and at your dining table! We'll learn why "Reduce" is the first of our 4 R's for creating less waste (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Rot) and how to make the most of our food before it becomes compost.
  • From Scraps to Soil: Now that we know how to prevent wasted food, nature can help us take care of the rest! Explore how decomposition occurs and why it's so important to life on Earth.
Compost Critters

This presentation will break down the process of decomposition. We'll dig in to learn how invertebrates, fungi, and bacteria play an important role in all ecosystems, including a compost pile! Available as a single lesson or an in-depth, two-part series:

  • Microscopic Marvels: Many decomposers are too tiny to be seen, but together their impact is huge! Dive into the miniature world of microbes to understand their contributions to harmonious habitats.
  • Wiggle, Crawl, & Sprawl: We're already familiar with some important composting helpers, such as worms, beetles, and mushrooms. Let's meet the whole team and examine how each one assists with decomposition.
Worms Save the World
The humble earthworm is a hero in our soil and compost! Get to know these wiggly wonders and how to partner with them for a greener world. Available as a single lesson or a comprehensive 3-part series:

  • Meet the Worms: Learn how earthworms recycle food waste into a valuable resource for soil and plants, and why this is an important step in keeping our planet clean.
  • 5 Hearts, No Eyes, & a Happy Home: Worms are different from us in so many ways - and yet, they share many of the same basic needs. Explore a worm's anatomy and how their unique traits can be provided for while making their home.
  • Go for the (Black) Gold: Worms transform our "waste" back into dark, rich soil. We'll discuss harvesting this black gold for the garden and how to troubleshoot common problems along the way.

This program is sponsored by the County of San Diego providing FREE presentations for all unincorporated San Diego schools.

For more information about scheduling or details on pricing for incorporated San Diego region schools, contact: | (760) 436-7986 x711

Waste Diversion in Schools

School lunch sorting event

The goal of our waste diversion school program is to work with school district stakeholders to create a lunch waste sorting program in order to significantly reduce the amount of waste being taken to the landfill.

California legislation (AB 1826) has made diverting organic waste from the landfills mandatory for schools. By utilizing our waste diversion program, your students will already have the training and experience to meet diversion goals.

Sorting Stations

Solana Center works with school staff to develop lunch waste sorting stations appropriate to your current lunch waste streams.


Training is provided for cafeteria and administrative staff to guide waste prevention and diversion from food services.


Custom education presentation will be created to support the program covering the 4 Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle, and rot), vermicomposting, and an introduction to your new sorting station. Students learn the importance of properly sorting their waste.

Waste Audits

Waste audits will be performed before and after education to allow a metric for determining lunch waste sorting success.

After our education and outreach, one school in the San Ysidro School District achieved 96% accuracy in lunch waste sorting, enabling more of their waste stream to be recycled and composted!

Watch the following video to learn more about our school waste sorting program!

More Resources for Kids: Family Fun Activities!

Environmental protection and conservation is an important goal that the whole family can take action towards. Take a look at the family fun resources for young environmental stewards with more coming soon!