You should have seen us. The students and I had the muddiest shoes. Most of the students were using shovels that were longer than they were tall. So, you may ask what were we doing? We were digging for worms.

Yes, we were trying to find worms and extra soil so we could build a worm farm for the school. Our older students are learning that worms are an important part of the nitrogen cycle. When organisms die, decomposers, like worms, change the nitrogen in the proteins of the dead organisms’ bodies into ammonia compounds. Ammonia has nitrogen in it that remains in the soil or water.

Our worms are safe inside a clear, tall container filled with soil, colored sand, decomposing leaves and other organic material. The container is covered most of the day in order to allow the worms to believe they are in a safe, dark habitat. Once a day we get to lift the covering and observe their tunnels, waste, and even the little, wiggling worms.

Let’s hear it for Worm Science!

Susan Zimmermann