Science - Worms in Week 2, lots of questions

cbollin

Science - Worms in Week 2, lots of questions

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:40 pm

ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?
BHelf wrote:OKay, this may just be a no brainer, but....
it says to seal the jar--are we supposed to put air holes in the lid or anything? :)
Thanks!
on several sites I looked, it doesn't have to be a lid with full seal. cloth, bag should work

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BHelf
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by BHelf » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:49 pm

maybe I'll just punch some air holes! :) leaving it only covered with dark paper makes me think I might have dead dried up worms all over my house one morning....

:~

thanks for checking for me! It makes me feel better that your DD asked that question too! I'm not the only one!
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
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cbollin

Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:11 pm

one of the alternatives to the lid was also a dark cloth -- enough to let air in, but not enough to let critters out.

the other thing to keep in mind is that as long as the worms aren't drowning, the are going to stay in the dirt, so it's not likely that they'll want to escape? (that reminder came from my middle gal....)

Keep us updated. :)

-crystal

BHelf
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by BHelf » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:08 pm

good point...and I may try the cloth. That seems like an easier alternative.

We will hopefully be trying this sometime in the next week. Although we have a very busy schedule next week with all sorts of things...so I dunno. But I will let you know when we try it! We may do it both ways if I can get another jar and find enough worms....I'm hoping to find enough in my yard rather than having to buy them from somewhere. Hard to believe but buying earthworms isn't in the budget right now! :)
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

doubleportion
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by doubleportion » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:22 am

BHelf wrote: if I can get another jar and find enough worms....I'm hoping to find enough in my yard rather than having to buy them from somewhere. Hard to believe but buying earthworms isn't in the budget right now! :)
Right there with ya! We were suppose to do this last week but it has been so dry we haven't seen any worms. Hoping to get some rain and then find some for this project.

I'd be interested to find out what people end up using and their results too.

Edie

tjkakuk
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by tjkakuk » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:06 pm

We have done this experiment a couple times before. Once we used cheesecloth over the top with a rubberband to secure it. The second time we did this we just placed a paper bag over the top and they did not escape. We did keep it out in the garage though.

One idea for trying to get worms is to take your sprinkler and water a spot in your yard for a while. I guess that could be expensive if your water usage rate is expensive.

Hope that helps.

Tami
Tami in MI

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mom2boys
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by mom2boys » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:48 am

It seems like we did this a few years ago from a book called Pets in a Jar. If my murky memory is correct we cut off a piece of old pantyhose and secured it to the top with a rubberband. My boys always like these types of projects. Butterflies, ants, worms . . .
~Charlotte
loving my Hubby and 3 sons 16, 13, 7
Used MFW since 2004

4Truth
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by 4Truth » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:36 pm

We've got black construction paper over ours. Wondering if I should poke a few tiny holes in it for air?
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Amy C.
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by Amy C. » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:36 pm

We are just now getting to the worm experiment. My boys are outside as I type digging for worms. I asked them if they thought we needed to punch air holes in our lid for the worms. My oldest son (5th grade) said, "No, worms get their air from the soil". I guess this does make sense since worms live underground. The thought, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" came to mind. I mean smarter than me (not all of you).

Of course, we have not actually tried it yet, but I think our plans are to seal the jar with a lid with no air holes and see how it turns out. I actually thought we should punch holes in the top but am going with his recommendation since it is his experiment. I will let you know if my 5th grader is smarter. ;)

The verdict is out on whether or not our worms will make it....Dum De Dum Dum Dummmm! Stay tuned!
Amy C.

cbollin

Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:39 pm

Amy C. wrote:We are just now getting to the worm experiment. My boys are outside as I type digging for worms. I asked them if they thought we needed to punch air holes in our lid for the worms. My oldest son (5th grade) said, "No, worms get their air from the soil". I guess this does make sense since worms live underground. The thought, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" came to mind. Of course, we have not actually tried it yet, but I think our plans are to seal the jar with a lid with no air holes and see how it turns out. I will let you know if my 5th grader is smarter. ;)
Amy C.

My oldest and I wondered the same thing, but ..... uhm.... the ground is exposed to the air?

hmm...

let us know...

-crystal

Amy C.
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by Amy C. » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:15 am

Just a funny update...

Last night I noticed that our jar lid had holes in it. Thinking that one of my boys had decided the worms needed air after all and put holes in it, I mentioned it to my husband and how I had been unsure of whether the worms needed air holes or not and the whole "Smarter than a 5th grader" moment yesterday. I said, "Well, I guess my boys, including the 5th grader, had second thoughts". He laughed and said, "I put the holes in the lid. I thought that they needed some air". He felt the same way you and your daughter did, Crystal, that even though the worms get their air from the soil, there is only just so much air in a sealed jar. :-) LOL
Of course, that makes sense...

So, I guess we will not know if my 5th grader was smarter in this experiment since I don't have another lid to fit that jar and we are not going to start over. That is unless someone else from the board does it with a sealed lid and lets us know.

Oh, well, as long as we learn what we are supposed to from the experiment itself, right! :-)

Happy experimenting!
Amy C.

4Truth
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:45 am

Well, I even had a book on "Wormology" from the library which had the same experiment in it (with similar but slightly different directions), and it didn't say whether to put holes in the lid or not, either! :~

I was planning on re-doing this experiment sometime when we don't have such difficulty getting worms (and it's not so hot), but now I'm tempted to make two jars' worth -- one with holes and one without. ;)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

KellyinPA
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by KellyinPA » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:20 am

Just wondering if we could email the Answers in Genesis people and ask what is the proper thing to do, they may respond and clear all this up for us. Amy, we love Smarter than a Fifth Grader and I fully admit that often times I am NOT!! :)
Blessings,
Kelly
MFW K, 1st, ADV
ECC 2009/2010

Amy C.
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Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by Amy C. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:04 pm

4Truth wrote:I was planning on re-doing this experiment sometime when we don't have such difficulty getting worms (and it's not so hot), but now I'm tempted to make two jars' worth -- one with holes and one without.
Okay, this is so funny! I was reading this post while my 5 y/o was outside digging for worms since he missed it due to a nap. He wanted to get in on the fun. So, my older boys were taking a break also, and they found a smaller jar with a lid. Do you know what they did? You got it, a second jar of worms. One with holes and one without. Oh, the joy of homeschooling and worm experiments! :-)

Okay, for anyone who has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear how the worm experiment here at our house went, the verdict is in - well sort of. We think the jar that was sealed without holes did not have any worms to survive. I say "think" because my son dumped both jars out close together and the one with holes in the lid definitely had some live worms. He did look at the dirt that had been in the jar without holes before dumping the other and did not see any live worms, but after dumping the second jar, he found a small live worm that he "thought" was from the first jar. I don't think any survived in the first jar without holes, though. ;)

Anyway, all this to say, I would definitely recommend punching holes in the top of the lid or using some other method to allow air into the jar (like the pantyhose idea). The worms get air from dirt, but the dirt needs an air source. That is our finding, anyway.

Did I mention we are loving MFW? This is our first year. The first two days were pretty stressful. I think it was more just getting back into the groove of school and starting something totally new. I was not as prepared as I could have been, either. As the week has went on, things have gotten much better and more enjoyable. I think we are going to have a fantastic year! :)
Amy C.

cbollin

Re: ECC 2nd edition worm experiment ?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:09 pm

thanks for the update. I know the confusion is from how Answers in Genesis book wrote that one sentence by saying "seal the jar". amazing the confusion and power of one word :)

I feel like Ms Frizzle: take chances, make mistakes

-crystal

4Truth
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:18 pm

Tami in IA wrote:Okay, now that I've got the EeeBee JeeBees out of the way;
The TM and Properties of Ecosystems say to build an Earthworm Niche with dark soil.
I have some Miracle Grow potting soil here at home.
Do you think that will work or would the chemicals in that soil be too much for the worms? So, do I need to go out and buy some dirt? 8|
Digging some dirt up out of the yard is not an option where we live.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice you have!
Tami
Hhmm, well, we used potting soil and the worms all died, but I don't know if it was because of the potting soil. ?? We had "issues" even getting enough worms for the experiment. It never crossed my mind about potting soil vs. ground dirt!

Anyone else?
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

cbollin

Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:25 pm

I don't know either.

I'd go with topsoil.

not sure the conditions of your situation (like if it is a apartment complex)..... brainstorming..or ask a neighbor if you could dig some dirt, or a friend's house, or a maybe church? You don't need too much. Can you go to a local stream and get something? what about a construction site that they have to haul the stuff away?

I'm curious.

-crystal

Amy C.
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by Amy C. » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:52 pm

I bought 75 cent bags of potting soil. (I needed them for repotting some plants.) It says on the bag that it is "regionally formulated from organic materials (primarily derived from one or more of the following, hypnum peat, forest products or compost), sand and perlite". I did not think there was anything in it to hurt the worms. Could have been, though, since I am pretty ignorant when it comes to worm safety, so who knows. :~ However, as I posted on the other "worm" thread, we had two jars. One sealed - no worms lived, and one with holes punched in the top of the lid - a few worms lived although I don't think all the worms lived - we had fewer live worms come out of the jar than went in, but considering they stayed in the jar for a whole week, I counted a few live worms a success.
I wondered about using potting soil, but since I needed it for something else, I went ahead and used it. I just made sure I did not buy anything with a fertilizer in it.

Just my experience...
Amy C.

Oh, by the way, my boys dug up their own worms the first time. Then we had some question about whether or not we got the right kind worms....I know a worm is a worm, right....don't ask...Anyway, the second go around my brother helped my boys dig up their worms. So based on your EWWWW! response to worms, just know I am right there with you and had no intention of actually touching the worms. Once they were in the jar and sealed, it was not that bad, especially when the dark construction paper was over the jar so I couldn't see in. :-)

sarajoy
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by sarajoy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:32 pm

We did this today...so I'm laughing at the eewwww factor with you. Considering I've got 2 girly-girls, we did alright. They put on their little gardening gloves and picked through the dirt as I turned it over. By the time we got 10 of those squiggly guys my oldest wanted to be digging her own holes and my youngest was voted most-likely-to-survive-as-a-bird for her keen eyesight on spotting the worms in the dirt. And of course we now have new temporary pets since they have now been named. The jar is sitting on my kitchen counter and my sister and her hubby came for dinner tonight...should have found somewhere else to keep them... :~

Here's hoping to living worms at the end of all this.

SJ

ps-we used Miracle Grow potting soil, because that's what we had.

RachelT
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:12 am

Do you have any kind of a mulch bed? We have certain spots in our mulch beds that are more shaded and stay more moist where we can almost always dig a few inches under the mulch, into the topsoil, and find earthworms. I tried a couple of other places in the mulchbeds yesterday and couldn't find any where it was more sunny, but I went back to the spot in the front yard where we've always found them and there they were! I just scooped the topsoil, a little mulch, some play sand, and more soil and worms into the jar. It didn't take a lot to fill the jar.

Amy's reference to "worm safety" above cracked me up! I don't know for sure, but I doubt that potting soil would be a problem.

Hope it work for you!
Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
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sarajoy
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by sarajoy » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:25 am

Okay, so I checked on the little buggers this AM and it appears that we have committed the severe crime of "wormicide." I won't recommend the Miracle Grow stuff probably has too much fertilizer in it....

Amy C.
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Re: ECC week 2 Worms-Ewwww!!

Unread post by Amy C. » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:22 am

One thing I thought about in reference to finding worms. My husband told me that worms are found under the ground around oak trees. We only have pines and a few other kinds trees (not oak) so we had a hard time finding worms. The first go around my boys dug up some very skinny worms underneath my husband's smoker/grill. It is shaded underneath there. Since they were so small and they started spinning some kind of web on the top of the jar, we thought they were the wrong kind of worms so we started over. My mother has oak trees so my brother helped my boys dig up big, fat worms from around the oak tree. They also spun some kind of web at the top so we may have actually had the right kind of worms the first time, just real skinny worms.

Anyway, I just thought I would share that tip for finding worms. Try around an oak tree. Of course, Rachel's idea of a mulch bed is a good idea as well.

Who thought worms could generate so much discussion?!? If not for MFW, Properties of Ecosystem, and this message board, we would never be so enlightened on this subject! Thank you, MFW for this fun - okay, maybe gross, but fun experiment. We are learning so much!

Amy C.

lauramb
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Earthworms?

Unread post by lauramb » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:44 pm

We're starting ECC tomorrow! SO EXCITED. This past Saturday I went to the local sports store and bought 12 nightcrawlers/earthworms (big juicy ones! :-) ) and stuck them in the fridge. They come in a styrofome box with dirt. My big question, how long are they good for? We'll do the experiment on Thursday as planned. I don't want Thursday to roll around and we open that box and find them all dead. Do they need to stay in the fridge? (They were in a fridge at the store--don't know at what temp. though) Should I put them somewhere else in my house? ??

cbollin

Re: Earthworms?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:26 am

lauramb wrote:We're starting ECC tomorrow! SO EXCITED. This past Saturday I went to the local sports store and bought 12 nightcrawlers/earthworms (big juicy ones! :-) ) and stuck them in the fridge. They come in a styrofome box with dirt.

My big question, how long are they good for? We'll do the experiment on Thursday as planned. I don't want Thursday to roll around and we open that box and find them all dead. Do they need to stay in the fridge? (They were in a fridge at the store--don't know at what temp. though) Should I put them somewhere else in my house? ??
Why not just start the earthworm stuff today so it is not a problem? It's ok to do that. Then you can read stuff as you come to it.

based on collective recent experiences on this:
*Don't seal the jar without leaving some holes.

*don't let them get too warm.

lauramb
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:48 pm

Re: Earthworms?

Unread post by lauramb » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:03 am

cbollin wrote:Why not just start the earthworm stuff today so it is not a problem? It's ok to do that. Then you can read stuff as you come to it.
;) Well, I could have thought of that, but I'm a little obsessive compulsive and pretty particular about following a schedule as it is written. It'll take all my will to do this, but it might be a good solution. I still wonder if they stay in the fridge for a while!

Laura

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