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Earthworms as Nature's Tillers

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:38 am
by starsky
I'm already doing the experiment but I wish to have advance results of the experiment

[b]Does the number fo soil affect how fast surface plant material will be incorporated into the soil?[/b]

Here's my methodology:
Methodology
• Eartworm treatments:
o 3 worms per pot
o 5 worms per pot
o 10 worms per pot
o 15 worms per pot
• Five pots per treatment
• Place the same volume of soil in each pot (there should be 2 inches from the soil surface to the rim of the pot).
• If the soil is dry (does not form a ball when squeezed in your hand) put tap water (one cup at a time) slowly over the potting soil surface until water drains from the pot. Allow the pot to drain for 2 hours before adding worms.
• Place the required number of worms per pot and allow them to work down into the potting soil.
• Place 2 cups of grass clippings uniformly over the surface of the potting soil in each pot
Each week measure the depth of the grass clippings in each pot. Record each findings

[b]CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHICH OF THE TREATMENT WILL BE THE BEST RESULT...[/b]

Earthworm project results

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:46 am
by donnahardy2
Hi Starsky,

This is a very good project, but unfortunately, it's not possible to say exactly what your results will be. That's why you are doing the experiment. In science, results are empirical, which is a word that means that you find out what your results are when you finish the experiment. That's why scientists do experiments; if we knew what the results would be, we wouldn't ever have to do an experiment.

However, you should have an idea of what the results will be. This is your hypothesis, and the reason you set up the experiment. It's your guess of what will happen. I suppose your hypothesis for this project is that you think that 15 worms will consume plant material faster than 3 worms. That would be logical because 15 worms should be able to eat 5 times more than 3 worms. However, maybe the pot will be too crowded with 15 worms, and 5 or 10 worms will consume more plant material. Think about it, and see if you can write down your prediction for your experiment.

Also, it's not too late to set up a control pot. You should have one pot with no worms. This is just to make sure that plant material doesn't disappear on its own.

Also, since it is wintertime, you should make sure that you are providing optimum conditions for earthworm growth. Since earthworms are cold-blooded, they move and eat slowly during the winter. Did you do background research to find out the best conditions for earthworms? If not, you should do this and make sure your worms have the optimum temperature, soil, moisture, pH, and other nutrients they need to eat as much as possible. Also, you should check on your worms to make sure they are healthy and moving around. The best earthworms for science fair projects come from compost piles and commercial earthworm suppliers. If your worms aren't healthy or warm enough, you may not see a difference in any of your pots.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Donna Hardy

Re: Earthworms as Nature's Tillers

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:41 pm
by LisaBug
Starsky,

I agree with Donna--you can hypothesize about the results: More worms will result in more plant material incorporated into the soil.

But the best experiments are the ones that turn out different than you expect ;)

Also I am curious to know what is the point of your experiment? Why are you doing it? Why do you want to know if more plant material will be incorporated into the soil?

Kelly Dorgan, a graduate student at the University of Maine has been asking worm questions. She is studying the mechanics of burrowing in worms.
http://www.marine.maine.edu/~jumars/Dorgan/Kelly.html

Check out this experiment it may be of help to you:
http://www.selah.k12.wa.us/SOAR/SciProj ... O.html#Top

And set up a control!

Good luck!
Lisa


starsky wrote:I'm already doing the experiment but I wish to have advance results of the experiment

Does the number fo soil affect how fast surface plant material will be incorporated into the soil?

Here's my methodology:
Methodology
• Eartworm treatments:
o 3 worms per pot
o 5 worms per pot
o 10 worms per pot
o 15 worms per pot
• Five pots per treatment
• Place the same volume of soil in each pot (there should be 2 inches from the soil surface to the rim of the pot).
• If the soil is dry (does not form a ball when squeezed in your hand) put tap water (one cup at a time) slowly over the potting soil surface until water drains from the pot. Allow the pot to drain for 2 hours before adding worms.
• Place the required number of worms per pot and allow them to work down into the potting soil.
• Place 2 cups of grass clippings uniformly over the surface of the potting soil in each pot
Each week measure the depth of the grass clippings in each pot. Record each findings

CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHICH OF THE TREATMENT WILL BE THE BEST RESULT...

Re: Earthworm project results

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:10 am
by starsky
[quote="donnahardy2"]Hi Starsky,

This is a very good project, but unfortunately, it's not possible to say exactly what your results will be. That's why you are doing the experiment. In science, results are empirical, which is a word that means that you find out what your results are when you finish the experiment. That's why scientists do experiments; if we knew what the results would be, we wouldn't ever have to do an experiment.

However, you should have an idea of what the results will be. This is your hypothesis, and the reason you set up the experiment. It's your guess of what will happen. I suppose your hypothesis for this project is that you think that 15 worms will consume plant material faster than 3 worms. That would be logical because 15 worms should be able to eat 5 times more than 3 worms. However, maybe the pot will be too crowded with 15 worms, and 5 or 10 worms will consume more plant material. Think about it, and see if you can write down your prediction for your experiment.

Also, it's not too late to set up a control pot. You should have one pot with no worms. This is just to make sure that plant material doesn't disappear on its own.

Also, since it is wintertime, you should make sure that you are providing optimum conditions for earthworm growth. Since earthworms are cold-blooded, they move and eat slowly during the winter. Did you do background research to find out the best conditions for earthworms? If not, you should do this and make sure your worms have the optimum temperature, soil, moisture, pH, and other nutrients they need to eat as much as possible. Also, you should check on your worms to make sure they are healthy and moving around. The best earthworms for science fair projects come from compost piles and commercial earthworm suppliers. If your worms aren't healthy or warm enough, you may not see a difference in any of your pots.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Donna Hardy[/quote]

Hi Donna Hardy,

Thanks for the tips. I am starting to do the experiment it's just that the reason I wish to know possible result of my experiment is, because I can somehow spend less for the experiment. I can change my experiment with less earthworms, such as with these five treatments: 0, 3, 6, 9, 12. I'll let you know what happens to my experiment and if I have more questions. Thanks!

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:25 am
by starsky
[quote]Starsky,

I agree with Donna--you can hypothesize about the results: More worms will result in more plant material incorporated into the soil.

But the best experiments are the ones that turn out different than you expect

Also I am curious to know what is the point of your experiment? Why are you doing it? Why do you want to know if more plant material will be incorporated into the soil?

Kelly Dorgan, a graduate student at the University of Maine has been asking worm questions. She is studying the mechanics of burrowing in worms.
http://www.marine.maine.edu/~jumars/Dorgan/Kelly.html

Check out this experiment it may be of help to you:
http://www.selah.k12.wa.us/SOAR/SciProj ... O.html#Top

And set up a control!

Good luck!
Lisa
[/quote]

Thank you, Lisa for the articles. The main purpose of my experiment is definitely to be able to submit something to my research teacher :( But it's kind of interesting to have an experiment involving Earthworms. In one of my studies, these worms are beneficial to our soil. They increase pores to the soil, and also facilitates deeper and faster penetration of water and oxygen. I thought that this was an experiment for the environment, that it may somehow help in our environment.