Did you know worms can turn your garbage into gold? As nature’s little recyclers, these composters can eat up to their body weight on a daily basis, shedding vermicompost that contains more antibiotic properties against pathogens and higher amounts of natural plant growth hormones. In short, WORMS RULE.
Students have taken on a new task at TAGOS Leadership Academy — they are finding alternate ways to eradicate the breakfast and lunch waste at their school. In this teacher-led project, students are studying the damaging effects of food waste and the consequences of excess waste on the environment. TAGOS students are now researching worm composting and creating environments for their worms to thrive.
Educator Marianne McGuire initiated this community-driven project with the driving question, How does worm composting help the environment and contribute to the growth of plants?
“It has been a great project and the students have enjoyed it,” says Marianne. “My students liked the hands on experience of building the compost box and handling the worms.” While students felt the research was challenging and extensive, they learned a lot and continue to develop further knowledge of the power of worms.
The students were expected to research and complete written assignments on worm composting, then design and create worm composting bins based on their research. TAGOS students then tracked food waste at their school for one week and created a graph that documents that waste. Students got their hands dirty, handling the compost bins and worms, and even physically or virtually dissecting worms while researching their anatomy. Their research and writing extended to what they’ve learned about environmental impacts that composting and food waste have on the earth.
Marianne shares, “The students also enjoyed the worm dissection and were able to really connect the research with the actual biological processes. This project also opened their eyes to all the food waste happening at our school and within our culture. Finally, the project challenged them to be more aware of how humans have an impact on the environment.”
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