Museum of Science and Industry

Construct a Worm Farm


Step 1 of 8:

Here's the Materials You'll Need:

Large jar with a lid, like a spaghetti jar
Hammer and nail
Soil
Sand
Oatmeal
Teaspoon
Cup
Two or three earthworms
Black construction paper
Scissors
Tape
Crayon


Step 2 of 8:

Use the hammer and nail to carefully poke holes in the lid of the jar. Take the lid off and set it aside.


Step 3 of 8:

Add a little water to the dry soil and dry sand so that they are moist.


Step 4 of 8:

Use a cup to scoop up some moist soil and pour about an inch into the jar. Measure a teaspoon of dry oatmeal and sprinkle it on top of the soil. Then add about an inch of moist sand. Continue to add an inch of moist soil, a teaspoon of dry oatmeal, and an inch of moist sand until you have about two inches of space left at the top of the jar.


Step 5 of 8:

Add two or three worms to the jar and screw on the lid.


Step 6 of 8:

Wrap the sides of the jar with the black construction paper and tape it in place. Use crayons or markers to decorate the paper or label it with your name. Place the worm farm somewhere dark, where it's not in direct sunlight.


Step 7 of 8:

After about a week, take a peek inside the jar by removing the construction paper. See what the worms have been doing! Every week, add a little bit of water to the jar to keep the soil moist. Put the paper back on the jar to keep it dark. Every six weeks, add a teaspoon of oatmeal for the worms to eat.

If you would like, you can move your worm farm outside by putting the worms in a garden.


Step 8 of 8:

Worms move through the soil in search for food. When they burrow through the soil, they create small tunnels and loosen up the soil. This allows air and rainwater to reach all parts of the soil. Plant roots need to be exposed to air and water in order to grow, so a garden that has lots of worms is very healthy.

In your jar, you should notice the small tunnels and pathways the worms have created. The worms are looking for food - the oatmeal - and on their journey, they help mix up the soil. Keep the worms in a dark place and covered with black construction paper because worms like damp, dark places.


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