Oct 04

What do worms like? Science experiment

The preschool students experimented with worms in science class. They started out by discovering how their own eyes can still see the light of a flashlight even when their eyes are gently closed. Each preschool student was instructed to gently close their eye and the teacher shined the flashlight towards their eyes. They were still able to see the light even with their eyes closed.?

Then the students placed a worm on white paper and shined the flashlight just in front of it. They were able to see that the worm moved away from the light. There was a dark spot in the center of the ray of light and the worm tried to move towards that dark spot.

The students tested to determine what kind of temperatures the worms liked. They filled a plastic bag about 1/4 full of ice water and securely sealed it. They placed the bag at the edge of the worm and discovered that the worm kept trying to crawl underneath the bag but would not crawl on it. The worms did not like the cold temperatures.

Next the students discovered on what kind of surface the worms preferred to crawl. They placed a sheet of sandpaper next to the white paper. Once the worms entered the surface of the sandpaper, they were crawling faster than on the white paper. The worms preferred the grip of the sandpaper. The students thought it was fun to set out two worms side by side and see if they would race across the paper.?

And, finally, the students placed a handful of pebbles on a plate and placed the worms on top of the pebbles. They quickly saw the worms burrow their way down into the pebbles until they were completely hidden underneath the rocks.

This was a very fun experiment for preschool students to see what kind of habitat worms prefer. The preschool scientists discovered that worms like moist, dark, and warmer habitats.

Science with Mrs. Judi falenconsulting@gmail.com


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  1. Susan Case

    Very cool. Going to pin it.

  2. Brenna Phillips

    Thanks. It was a very neat experiment and fun to watch the worms choose which habitat they preferred.

  3. Katherines Corner

    fun! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Sorry It’s taken me a while to get here and say thank you xo

  4. Judi Falen

    Science and Applications for this activity:

    The Science: Worms have photo-receptor cells on their skin which send signals to a ‘brain’ (which is really a small bundle of nerves fibers) at the top of their heads, sometimes referred to as the eyespot. The purpose of shining the light on the children’s closed eyes was to simulate the eyespot or the ability of the worm to sense light even though he does not have eyes and cannot see. In this experiment, only white light was used. For more inquiry, try using red light vs. blue light. Worms will shy from the blue light, but not the red!
    The Science: Worms are cold blooded, so when exposed to cold, their body temp drops and they become sluggish. If the worm does crawl upon the bag of ice water, point out to the children it will get slow in its movement. Humans are warm blooded—we can still run fast even when we are cold!
    The Science: Worms have bristles (called setae) that can be extended from their surface. They use these and their muscles to help them move. The sandpaper or rough surface lets the bristles ‘grip’ better. It is similar to when children try to run in flat, smooth bottom sandals vs. athletic shoes. Which grip the surface better? Which should you wear to school for running and playing?

  5. Brenna Phillips

    Great addition to the lesson plan. Thanks, Judi.

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