Open Ended Investigation on Earthworms

Essay by danielglynnHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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Open Ended Investigation - Biology Year 11

By David Vineburg, Daniel Glynn and Thomas Marsland

Weighting: 15%

Due Date: Monday 8th September

Learning Experiment

Aim: to test the learning ability of earthworms in two completely different environments.

Apparatus: Shoeboxes x3

Sticky tape

One earthworm




Sliced apple


Sliced donut



1. Connect shoeboxes in a T shape using sticky tape to keep them together.

2. Take the lid of one side of the T off and leave the other closed down.

3. In one section apply the soil to the base of the shoebox. On top of the soil spray some water so it is moist and sprinkle bits of the apple on top.

4. In the other section stick the strip of sandpaper to the entry. Behind this pour in some sand and put the cut up donut on top of this.

5. When the T Box has both environments ready allow the worm to travel through at it's own pleasure.

6. Each time the worm finds a specific area, record what happened. Repeat step 5 and 6 until you are satisfied with your observations.

7. Now that the worm has experienced this environment switch the sides of the T shoebox arrangement around. Swap the environments to its other side.

8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you are satisfied with your observations.


Benefits of Earthworms in soil?

Earthworms tunnel through the earth, excreting polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are sugars that act like glue to line the pencil-size tunnels, preserving them for years. As they move through the earth both horizontally and vertically earthworms drag bits of organic material around, helping to mix organic matter into the soil. As they eat the organic material, they turn it into rich nutrients by leaving castings everywhere they go.