What do worms, leftover snacks and New Hampshire classrooms have in common? They make great compost AND an even better teaching tool!!! Worm composting (or “Vermicomposting”) uses worms to “recycle” food waste indoors to produce a high quality “soil.” This indoor, no-maintenance and odor-free method of composting has led to numerous educational opportunities for discussion and general fun. Children’s fascination with worms allow worm composting to be an easy, inexpensive and realistic way for children to become involved with the issues of solid waste management. By worm composting in a classroom, educators can promote:
- Environmental Awareness: What is waste? How does our community dispose of it? How much food do we throw away? What is recycling? What can be recycled?
- Math: Charts, graphs and measurements of food consumed, reproduction rates, etc.
- Science: What else lives with the worms? How do the worms reproduce? Do they have eyes? Ears? Skeletons? How do they react to heat? Light? Water? Do plants grow well in compost?
To help promote worm composting as a teaching tool and method of waste reduction, The CLUB has the following resources available for FREE:
- Worms in the Classroom Activity Ideas : An activity booklet that was developed to complement the vermicomposting matching grants program in 1992, that placed worm bins in over 225 New Hampshire classrooms .
- Worming Your Way to Better Compost!!! : An informative eight page handout on vermicomposting. The handout introduces vermicomposting as an environmentally sound activity, as well as answering some frequently asked questions.