A classroom composting experiment demonstrates why worms are called "nature's recyclers." Students will observe firsthand how earthworms transform garbage into compost.
Objective: Students will learn why some people call worms “nature's recyclers.” They will discuss how worms can help solve environmental problems. They will predict what will happen in two (control and experiment) containers – one with soil and trash, the other with soil, trash and worms.
Materials Needed: two see-through plastic containers of the same size, with lids (punch holes in sides and lid of container), earthworms, garbage items (chopped carrots, apples shavings, coffee grounds, and crushed eggshells), student journals (optional)
Do not use meat or dairy products because they will smell bad.
1. Start with two see-through plastic containers of the same size and punch small air holes in the lid of the container and along the sides. Spread about 2 inches of rich soil in the bottom of the container. Place garbage items on top. Each container should contain an equal amount of soil and garbage items. Cover the garbage with another 2 inches of soil. Then add earthworms to only one container.
2. You might want the students to predict what will happen in their journals.
3. You'll want to keep the soil slightly damp, but do not over water.
4. Observe and compare changes over the next two weeks. After two weeks, discuss the results of the experiment. What happened to the trash in the container with and without worms? How did changes in the two containers differ? Why? How can worms help cut down on trash?Earthworms “digest” the garbage and soil, producing richer soil.
Source: Education World