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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 48 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Connecticut

Schandra Madha: From Compost to Community in Connecticut

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  • This video and discussion questions explore Schandra Madha's work with a community composting system and farm in New Haven, Connecticut, waste management challenges within the city, and why community engagement improves societal health and self-validation.
  • Students will listen to Schandra's story and discuss mental health, identity, and creative solutions.
  • Schandra is a role model for students from queer or Muslim backgrounds.
Teaching Tips


  • Schandra has an interesting background and story that will inspire students to persevere.
  • In the interview, the two speakers thoughtfully discuss the concept of environmental justice.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may help students to understand how compost functions as a carbon sink and its other benefits.
  • It may benefit students to understand the issues and challenges the LGBT+ community faces.


  • This video can accompany a brainstorming session where students consider different ways to fight climate change at the community level.
  • Teachers can use this video as a conceptual introduction to environmental justice.
  • This resource can support research and a discussion where students consider composting in their community.
  • This video can enhance a lesson on the need for city-supported composting efforts.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Project Drawdown provides a ~11-minute video about composting and how it has brought a community together. The video follows narrator Schandra Madha's personal story and efforts to bring composting to the community. Discussion questions and links to learn more and take action are also provided.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
    • Personal and Mental Health
      • 2.1.12.CHSS.1: Analyze the opportunities available at home, in school, and in the community to support the mental health of oneself or an individual.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.PE.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with peers on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
      • SL.II.11–12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
      • SL.ES.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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