In this science experiment we will make a worm habitat or ecosystem in a glass jar. We will
explore how important earthworms are to human life. Worms are the most common animals
found in soil. There are sometimes as many as 400 per square yard.
- Large Wide Mouthed Glass Jar (pickle or mayonnaise jars work well) and soda can.
- Sand, Soil, Dog Food, Compost, Water
- Earth Worms from Garden, Pet Store, or Fishing Store
- Paper Bag or Dark Construction Paper. Or Use a Black Cloth.
Process To Make A Worm Ecosystem or Habitat
1) First put soda can in the jar then add 1/2 inch layer of sand on the bottom of the jar.
2) Next add 1/2 inch layer of soil.
3) Continue to layer sand and soil until almost at top of the jar (soil should be top layer).
4) Place the worms on top of the garden soil. Add some ground up dry dog food. Put the
rotten leaves or compost over the worms. Add water as needed to keep soil moist.
5) Wrap black or dark construction paper around the glass jar to keep the light out. Secure
with some tape.
6) Check the soil every other day or so to make sure it does not dry out completely. Moisten it
a little as needed. But don't soak it or the worms will drown!
7) Keep the worms happy by making sure the are in a cool dark moist place. Once every 2
weeks add a very small amount of ground dried dog food for the worms to eat.
What Happens In The Worm Ecosystem or Habitat
The worms will begin to burrow into the soil. The soda can will keep the worms toward the
outside where you can see them. Otherwise they will burrow in the middle. After several days,
you will see they have made a series of tunnels. You will be able to see these tunnels be
carefully removing the construction paper from the sides of the jar. Make sure to replace the
construction paper after observing the worms. The worms will continue to tunnel in the
darkness. You will be able to watch the worms behavior without harming them for six to eight
weeks. After that period of time return them back outside into a garden area.
The Science Behind The Worm Ecosystem or Habitat
Worms feed by taking soil through their bodies. This creates tunnels as they go. These
tunnels in turn aerate the soil providing plants with the oxygen they need to grow! The tunnels
also allow the rainwater to drain and give room for plant roots to grow. If it weren't for
earthworms, many varieties of plants would not be able to survive. Farmers consider
earthworms the best friends they have. Now go get your buddies and make an worm
ecosystem or habitat.
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