Worm Wednesday, one day late

Today’s the day that I’ll write on my science fair project, which I hope doesn’t give any cause to think I should get the cats.  I guess there’s a certain age past which you aren’t supposed to do science fair projects, but that seems wrong when you think about it, doesn’t it?  It’s not wrong to read a book if you’re not a professional reader like Nancy Pearl, or do a craft if you’re not a serious artist. So what’s so freaky about doing a science project?  Okay, perhaps I sound a little defensive, and I digress from the actual topic. 

 I recently got busted for belaboring methods by Hatchet Man, who announced yesterday that we should all be looking for jobs, so I think it’s worthy to have some actual research under my belt, don’t you?  But I'll take Hatchet Man's advice won’t belabor the methods the way some people do.  Not to digress, because Science isn’t about that, but the other day I joined R. at an orientation for community college, and the guy giving the presentation started out like this:

I’m going to talk about Blah blah blah, and then there will be an opportunity for questions, okay?  And If you have a question, you’re gonna want to raise your hand, and get my attention, okay? If I don’t see you, really wave it around, okay?  Ask your question, okay, and try to make it loud enough that I can hear.  I’ll re-state the question, okay, and then we’ll try to get an answer back out to you right away, okay?
That’s belaboring methods, in my opinion.  I’ll try not to do that here, but I feel the need to at least mention that I captured four worms with my bare hands from my garden.  I put them in a plastic container that used to hold organic spring lettuce, if you can picture that.  I added some dirt, peat moss, a bit of oatmeal, some torn up newspaper, and a sprinkling of water.  That happened last Wednesday.  Just for good measure, I weighed it all when I was done (2.4 lbs).  Then, for good cheer, I made some cheery paper mache balloons, in case the worms enjoy the festive feel of that.  I know I do.

There, was that too descriptive?  Have I lost my small, but gallant audience yet?  (Do you like the use of the word gallant there?  I know.  Just tossed it in because the word has been sitting around, unused, for far too long.)

But not to digress again, but yes, to digress,  we seem to make science increasingly dull, which is the opposite trajectory that most subjects take – we begin reading plotless drivel, but as we add skills, we read increasingly interesting material.  Science, for lots of people, goes the other way.  So I’m on a little mission to bring back the hokey home science project.   In fact, I challenge you to do a project, and maybe we’ll have science fair week here, if you’ll send me your project.

Here’s the other thing I like about the elementary science.  They don’t get so hung up on The Hypothesis Statement.  Which totally has its uses, but it seems refreshing to just wonder what would happen and try it, without trying so hard to predict. 

Yesterday, I weighed the box (2.0 lbs).  !!!  Then, I gently combed through the dirt, and discovered FIVE worms!  I know!!!  The weight is decreasing, while the number of worms is increasing!  I can hardly wait til next weeks data, and I'm sure that's you can't either.


  1. I'll take a small but gallant audience any day.

  2. Here's another angle to consider.....if these worms are busily doing what worms do (which would appear to be making more worms out of dirt and paper), what happens to their productivity when giant hands come combing through and messing up their hard work. If they weren't being molested in this way, would their productivity level be even higher???
    I'd like to see a control box which sits undisturbed until the end of the study to see if the level of "dirt to new worm" conversion is larger. Maybe next time....

  3. Perhaps you are losing moisture in your little biosphere. That could account for the weight loss.

    My teen did his own impromptu science projects when he was very young (baggies of moldy bread hidden in his closet). I wonder if he has anything going on like that now.

  4. Oh, and is R really going off to college next year? Holy cow.

  5. Charles Darwin, an old man, yelled at his worms for his science project.
    -Isobel (thanks to G.S. for this info.)

  6. now you can change the word "cats" in your profile to the word "worms"


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