- Complete the initial setup of the worm bin
- Describe how the worm bin operates
Worms break down organic material like food scraps and turn it into rich soil that is actually more nutrient dense than the natural soil that they are living in. Consider this: “Soil that a worm ingests is suddenly 5 times richer in nitrogen, 10 times richer in potassium, has 7 times more phosphate, 1.5 times as much calcium and 3 times the magnesium.”
The end result of the vermicomposting system is a nutrient rich compost that is often referred to as “black gold”. Additionally, the process will create “worm tea” which is the dark black liquid that is drained from the worm bin during the composting process. This too is very nutrient dense and a perfect amendment for soil.
Teach the Teacher
- The Complete Guide to Vermicomposting (included w/ Worm Factory 360)
- But really, worms?: The Benefits of Using Worms for Composting
Tools & Materials
- Fully Assembled Worm Factory 360
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin this lesson by explaining the importance of worms and the function they provide in the creation of healthy soil. Introduce the process of composting and describe how worms transform decomposing organic material. Offer examples of “worm food” and describe how that is transformed in the vermicomposting process to “black gold”.
Activity (20 minutes)
Please refer to The Complete Guide to Vermicomposting for step-by-step instructions on assembling your Worm Factory 360. Begin by placing all materials out on the floor or a table and describe the function of each to the students. Demonstrate how to assemble the worm bin structure by starting with the base and stacking each piece in order so the Students can repeat the process.
Discussion (10 minutes)
What do worms need in their environment to live happy and healthy lives? Are these the same things we need? Name a few foods that worms love to eat. Name a food that should not be given to worms. What things do we need to monitor in the worm bin to make sure it works properly?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you know how worms turn waste into compost?
- Now that you know how worms compost waste, how many of you think you could describe the process to someone else?
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