Worm Proliferation Front & Buckeye Sustainability Institute - The Worm Connection

Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 21:50.
Worm Proliferation Front & Buckeye Sustainability Institute - The Worm Connection

First let me start off by saying that worms are one of the keys to hands sustainability education.  Capable of imparting lessons about landfills, organic waste landfill diversion, benificial reuse, food chains, composting, recycling, global warming etc etc etc, worms are an underutilized and cost effective resource for education. 

Based on research conducted in house and at James Ford Rhodes High, Buckeye Sustainability Institute (BSI) had determined that this technology warrants further exploration.   We fully intend to increase the amount of student exposure to vermicomposting (worm composting) again this year. 

We are now in the process of drafting up the next steps, and the collaborative team for 2007 phase III.

In 2005 BSI brought the north coast Rhodes 2 Vermicycling (R2V): Starting off as a collaboration between BSI, 25,000 worms, 25 worm bins, a small business (Fulton Bar and Grill) and the Environmental School at Rhodes.  Ending up as a partnership between students, family, and classes including biology, chemistry, math, journalism, and sociology.  We all learned a lot and our worms had a sky high fecundity rate (made lots of babies), the true testimont to a happy and effective vermcomposting operation!

Pictures of the R2V kick off party are on BSI's blog at:

Regrettably, in 2006 significant renovations at Rhodes caused our core collaborative teachers to be shipped to a different school which lacked the space to continue our good work.   We moved onward and upward

In 2006 BSI brought the north coast Learning Garden 2 Vermicycling (LG2V): In collaboration with Maurice Small, the Worm Proliferation Front, and BSI, we put our worms in the hands of urban youth operating under the moniker 'the green corps' at the Learning Garden.

In 2007 we are working hard to lay the groundwork for worms to head back into schools and other hands on learning based educational environments.  Our goal for the third year is to have 20 bins in 20 schools.  We have been working since 2006 to ID appropriate collaborators and potentially interested parties for this next step.

Anyone with  an interest in getting a worm bin into the hands of students either at a school, or a less formal setting for hands on learning please message me on realneo.  We are currently identifying and evaluating collaborative partners at education based organizations.   RealNeo is the only community to receive this invitation outside of those folks who are currently sitting at this collaborative project's table.    

Viva La Verm.

Buckeye Sustainability Institute

All I ever learned about worms in school...

I don't remember much about my early childhood education - Kindergarten level - but I do remember something about learning that you could cut earthworms in half and each half kept squiggling around - I don't know if they were still alive or if that was just some nervous reflex and a cool gross thing to show kids. In any case, it makes me think about how I was educated about nature as a kid, and that it was not very valuable. I don't think I ever thought about worms again until you started educating us about them here. Perhaps modern education is better at teaching the value of little squiggles of the ecosystem like worms, but I doubt it. Who knows? How are we doing at creating a better generation of ecologists than we have today?

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I think society is doing

I think society is doing the better job at that than any particular teacher IMHO.  Granted there are exceptions, and an all time high interest in enviro-education... but society and increasing awareness and dialog is playing a secondary role in educating my children w/ regards to sustainability (my wife and I play the primary role).    

Case in point, yesterday my daughter, wife and I had a fantastic talk about laws, and rules.   Our 4 year old knows all about traffic laws, stop signs, speed limits and the police on the side of the road, and what they do.       Sunday we had a simular discussion about water police.   We talked about how there are hardly any (people to police the water).   From trips up and down the Cuyahoga she knows what gets put into our water. 

So to answer your question, yes we are doing a better job at creating ecological awareness.  Unfortunatly it may have a lot more to do with our planet begining to put the clamps on some of our current practices...      Take your kids to see the new omnimax movie at the science center about Katrina and Global Warming.

Worms for schools

I'd like to see if we can make some arrangements with the East Cleveland Schools. Also, I'll talk to the Intergenerational School and the Fairhill Center - they have lots of room there. I'll let you know if there is interest. Thanks for the proposal!

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Thanks Norm. Just to

Thanks Norm.

Just to clarify.... the project collaborators do not need much room.  A single bin will be going out to each interested party.  25 are pictured in the photo.   We'll be needing collaborators with a source of organic food waste  (1 lb per week approx).    72 degrees keeps our troops happy and making more babies!

Confirmed that The Intergenerational School is interested

Several teachers at The Intergenerational School have confirmed their interest, and I'm meeting with East Cleveland tomorrow so will check with them. What a great opportunity. Keep us posted where you end up doing the program and share some photos and experiences. Thanks ZM!

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