University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Breck School 2007

Breck School
123 Ottawa Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55422

Year: 2007
Teacher(s): Barbara Jacobs-Smith

The Dirt on Worms

Michael P, Addie H, Maliah-Mae P, Alexa H, Ronnie R, Cassidy Y, Seth M, Eva H, Emma T, Maryam A, Avi E, Mae F, Maya L, Renelle M, Julian B, Thornton P, Brandon L, Ivy G, Marisol C, Bridget B

Mrs. Jacobs-Smith's third grade class at Breck School is participating in a Citizen Scientist project involving the documentation of invasive earthworm occurrence on the Breck School's campus for the Great Lakes Worm Watch. We began our study of worms by learning that there are no earthworms native to this area. We learned how and when they first arrived in Minnesota and what they do when they invade the ecosystems that never had worms before, We collected data by sampling earthworm occurrences in three different plots. We chose to use the mustard extraction method to collect the earthworms for our samples. We are submitting our data along with some basic habitat and location information to the Great Lakes Worm Watch program in Duluth. This will add to the growing database of earthworm occurrence information which is the goal of this Citizen Scientist project. As we collected data, the students began to ask questions about the information we were finding. The most popular questions were: 1) Is there a significant difference in the number of earthworms we would find in a grassy area as opposed to a plot in the woods? Why or why not? 2) Would the number of earthworms we found on November 12 (when the average outdoor temperature for the week prior was 38ºF) differ significantly from the number of worms we would find on November 28 (when the average temperature for the week prior was 28.5ºF)? Why or why not? The third graders designed and carried out experiments to answer their questions. Our hypotheses, procedures, data and conclusions are included on our display board.

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