Adopt-a-Worm Classroom Composting Program

SEEK - Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge

Red wiggler worms are looking for new homes in elementary classrooms throughout Kitsap County! These worms are more than just classroom pets, they are environmental stewards, super garbage eaters, and science teachers. 

 

Composting Worms in your Classroom

 Why Adopt?

In the words of Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"

Worm composting is all about learning through exploration. There is no single "right way" to worm compost. You and your students will figure it out over time and the worms will be resilient to your mistakes along the way.

Worm composting connects a variety of subjects including environmental science, chemistry, sociology, economics, mathematics, and communication. The following concepts can be connected to worm composting: sustainability, waste reduction, environmental stewardship, ecosystems, life cycles, habitats, food chains, decomposers, care-giving, responsibility, and teamwork.  

                    

 Requirements and Considerations

Requirements:

  • Students and teachers must monitor the bin regularly, providing food, water, and bedding as needed.

  • Do not release red wiggler worms into the wild. This species is not suited to survive in garden habitats. 

  • If you are unable to maintain your bin over summer break, return it to the program. Your bin will be returned to your classroom the following school year if you choose.

 

Considerations:

  • Will you have a steady supply of fruit and vegetable scraps to feed the worms? Your worms will consume approximately 2 pounds per week. Consider obtaining scraps from the cafeteria or teachers' break room, or bring scraps from home.

  • Freezing, blending, or chopping food scraps increases the rate worms will consume their food, prevents unwanted bugs, and reduces possible odor. Will you have access to a freezer or be able to blend or chop scraps for your students?

  • Does your school have a steady supply of shredded paper for bedding material?

 

 Supplies Needed

What you will need:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps, approximately 2 pounds per week.

  • Shredded paper for bedding. Do not use shiny paper, envelopes with plastic windows, or paper containing plastic.

  • Measuring cup or food scale

  • Blender or cutting station for preparing food, and a sink for cleanup.

  • Tools and containers for collecting food scraps and feeding worms.


What Kitsap County will provide:

  • A lesson introducing Red Wiggler worms into your classroom

  • One pound of Red Wiggler (Eisenia fetida) worms

  • Worm bin – plastic container measuring 2ft x 1.5ft x 9in

  • On-call assistance, we are here to help!

  • Magnifying lenses and placemats, if requested

 

 Adoption Day Lesson


The Adoption Day Lesson takes 1 hour.

A presentation on Red Wigglers will address the following topics: anatomy, life-cycle, needs, and habitat of Red Wigglers worms, the purpose of worm composting, decomposers, and reducing environmental impact. Lessons will be adjusted accordingly depending on the grade level.

Students will help assemble their worm bins and discuss their plans to care for their worms. Each student will receive a worm adoption certificate.


 Request a Worm Bin


Fill out the online adoption application to request a worm bin for your classroom and schedule an Adoption Day Lesson.