The Worm Club

Project Name:  The Worm Club

Group members: Justin, Erin, Erick, Richard

Goal:  Analyze the relationship between soil and worms

Task: Collect worms and the soil in which they’re in.

Location: Anywhere

Our project topic is based on worms–to be more specific, we’re mainly looking at what soil do worms prefer best and why might that be.

Materials

mustard powder Tap water wagon (if needed)
rulers sharpie  thermometers
spray bottles 1 roll of masking tape 16 cups
strainer 2L Bottles Alcohol
trowels trays Notebook
sampling bags tablespoon and teaspoons M vials
containers funnels petri dish

Methods/Procedure:

Our group first wanted to do all the sampling in one area by the park but since there was too many little kids there it wasn’t going to work out so we decided to do random location selecting and did our sample there. Essentially, we just chose a patch of soil that seem to be a good place to do a sample on. We first laid out four rulers to create a square that was one foot by foot. With the mustard powder solution (mustard powder + water), we poured it onto the soil inside the square. We then waited for approximately 5 minutes or so to see if any worms would come to surface. If any did, we grabbed them and immediately sprayed water on them to clean the mustard powder off them since the solution would be irritating their skin. After cleaning them up, we placed the worms into a container with soil which we sprayed with water so that the soil would be moist.

We then took the temperature of the soil and the air with a thermometer to see what type of temperature in both the soil and the air the worms mostly preferred. After we finished putting the information about our findings in that location on the epicollect we took some soil samples and put it in a sample bag to bring back to the lab so we could find what type of soil it is so it could be easier to figure out what soil were the worms mainly at. We had to label the bags and the containers with a sharpie so we could know what location we did our sample and not get confused and mess up the project. Since we’re contributing to the Great Lakes Worm Watch, we also took the longitude and latitude of the location we tested. Also because it would make it easier for a person to find that location we took the sample from.

Preliminary Findings

Soil Data

Soil Sample ID PH Level Type of Soil Soil Temperature
B1 Slightly Acidic 6.5 Loamy Sand 26.1
B2 Acidic 6.0 Loam 20.5
B3 Acidic 6.0 Loamy Sand 21.8
B4 Acidic 6.0 Clay Loam 24.3
B5 Acidic 6.0 Loamy Sand 22.8
B6 Neutral 7.0 Loamy Sand 22.1
B7 Alkaline 7.5 Loamy Sand 22.8
B8 Neutral 7.0 Loamy Sand 23.3
B9 Neutral 7.0 Loamy Sand 25.3
B10 Alkaline 7.5 Loamy Sand 20.8
B11 Neutral 7.0 Sandy Loam 20.6
B12 Neutral 7.0 Loamy Sand 25.2
B13 Neutral 7.0 Clay Loam 18.1
B14 Alkaline 7.5 Sandy Loam 18.5
B15 Alkaline 7.5 Loam 19.5
B16 Slightly Acidic 6.5 Sandy Loam 17.4
B17 Neutral 7.0 Loamy Sand 18
B18 Slightly Acidic 6.5 Sandy Loam 18.3
B19 Slightly Acidic 6.5 Sandy Loam 17.5

The sample locations that contained worms had a low range of temperature. For example, samples B14, B17,B18 and B19 had temperatures of 18.5, 18, 18.3, and 17.5 degree Celsius, respectively. The pH was in a range of 6 to 7.5 and we found that if the pH was below 6.5 then there would be no worms found in that location. For example, samples B14, B17, B18 and B19 had a pH of 7.5, 7.0, 6.5 and 6.5, respectively.

New questions, future research, and possible changes to procedure:

Organize our locations a little bit more. Possibly still do random locations, but in a much organized way. Avoid areas where people are mostly at since it will get in the way of the project. Before beginning the project it could’ve been helpful to do a little more research about worms such as important facts that a person such know before starting a worm project for example what type of worms are affecting our environment and why or what type of worms live by where I live or what I should expect when looking for worms. Some of the questions that my group members and I have now are why were most of the worms found by the shade and not sunny areas.

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