Welcome to educational checkpoint three – The Great Worm Hunt!
This is the last of three educational checkpoints you will have access to throughout the challenge. Each checkpoint encourages you to explore your soil health a little further, and understand what is happening underground as your undies (hopefully!) decompose.
Did you know that there are billions of tiny organisms in just one handful of soil? Some of these critters are called ‘decomposers’ because they eat dead plant and animal material for energy, breaking it down and returning nutrients to the soil for plants to use. We call this process decomposition. Decomposition is a sign of healthy soil because it indicates that nutrients and carbon are cycling through the soil. A big player in soil decomposition is the humble earthworm, which is the focus of this educational checkpoint.
It’s often hard to work with earthworms and soil, as it’s not the easiest of things to see through. One way to find out how many earthworms are in soil would be to dig a hole and count the earthworms in the soil you remove. Two issues with this. One, you may not like holes all over his lawn and, two, the vibrations of digging can make earthworms burrow deeper or move off. An easier way is to get the earthworms to move to us.
We have developed a short video explain how you can undertake an experiment and have your earthworms come to you, as well as teacher/parent and student activity sheets. Check them out below!