Environmental Science Students Have Worms
Juniors in Environmental Science welcomed ~4200 new members to our class this week. We keep them in a bin on the bookcase and feed them garbage!
Our compost worms are members of two species: red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) and European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis). Both types eat nearly half their own bodyweight each day in plant material and turn it into rich organic soil. They’ll chew through anything from pizza boxes to fruits and vegetables.
Eventually our class will use the worm farm to discuss a wide variety of topics: agriculture, soils, nutrient cycles, waste disposal, ecosystem services, population ecology, community ecology, and more. For now we’re focusing on counting and measuring individual worms to explore how their population and demographics change over the course of the next few months.
Students also got to adopt and name their own worm and write a short story about how their worm affects the environment.
Some classmates were a little squeamish at first, but almost everybody eventually came around to their new role as worm ranchers!