Worm Bin Project Unit
Introduction to Worm Bin Project
- Grade level: Middle Elementary
- Subject Area: Science
Students observe the decomposing process of the food
chain. Students observe whether the type of food fed to worms will affect the
castings given off during the decomposition process. Note: This is a long-term
activity; be prepared to devote a small amount of time to this activity each day
or week for roughly two months.
- Students will observe the relationship between resources and output in
- Students will learn to form and test scientific hypotheses.
- Students will learn to present data in multiple ways.
Materials and Resources Needed
- 5 worm bins (small containers, usually wooden, but also made from
other materials), approximately 5"x5". Drill 6 holes in the bottom of each bin
for drainage and odor control.
- Worms (usually red wigglers, but other
types will work), can be found at sports stores and in vermicomposting
- Garbage--coffee grounds, vegetables, fruits,
eggshells--collected by the students.
- Bedding, such as shredded
- A catch-all tray for drippings and escaping
- Black plastic bag to cover bins--provides moisture retention
and dark environment that worms prefer
- ClarisWorks or other
integrative software package that has graphing and word processing
- Place dampened newspaper in each bin.
- Place one-fifth of the
worms into each bin, keeping track of the exact number of worms in each bin.
- Add a certain kind of garbage to one corner of each bin. Label each bin so it
is clear which type of garbage is to be added to that bin for the duration of the
project. One bin should get eggshells, one coffee grounds, one vegetables, one
fruits, and one a combination of all four of these.
- Cover the bins with
the plastic bag.
- Check the bins each day and add food as needed. Try
adding the food to each corner of the bin on a rotating basis; i.e.: one time,
add food to the lower left corner, the next time to the lower right corner,
- Weigh the amount and type of food the worms are fed and record the
data in a graph created in ClarisWorks. The software should find the average
amount of food fed weekly.
- Discuss the process of formulating hypotheses.
Based on what is known about worms, worm castings, and the types of food, discuss
the possible outcomes of this project.
- After two months, count the number
of worms in each bin. Graph the number of worms fed each type of food.
observations to test hypotheses formulated in the beginning of the project.
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