Three classes now have vermiculture systems. That means 72 students get to learn from a classroom composting system that employs wonderful worms to turn their lunch waste into valuable castings. All kinds of first, second, third, and fourth graders are experiencing nature's perfect worm recycling kit for the entire year.
In order to get the worms, students had to go through a workshop I provided to educate about what to feed and how to treat their wiggly and hard working worms.
Students learned "ten ways worms are rad" by acting out various facts about worms. Student groups created skits to communicate. Worms are blind, they are extremely sensative to touch and vibration, they eat during the night and burrow during the day (taking fertilized organic matter down with them), and have no teeth. Thousands of kinds of worms that eat almost anything exist in all corners of the world. The waste they eat passes through their digestive systems and comes back as castings with 50% more calcium and nitrogen. Worms recycle 15 tons of waste per acre of healthy soil per year; 75 tons of waste could be recycled per year on our campus with a bit of worm optimization.
Most participating lead teachers are using worm systems as a science exploration center, where students' natural curiosity and keen observation skills will develop hypothesis and scientific inquiry while driving data discovery. Students are given magnifying glasses, a scoop of worms, and time to watch and wonder. I love to read their worm journals. "I observe alot of poop." "There are blue ones and green ones and little babies." "They don't like the sun."
The office staff discovered that a pound of worms are worth $176 and now the big joke is that if a burgler ever broke in to the school, they would take the worms. We can sell worms and their castings as a fundraiser!
I introduced vermiculture systems because students requested classroom composting recepticles so they didn't "waste" biodegradable snack rubbish. Now we've got kids acting like they are worms and ladies giggling about worm doo-doo like they were third graders. Awesome.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.