Worm­ing their way into ed­u­ca­tion

Har­bour Grace Pri­mary stu­dents have a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for earth worms


Grade 4 stu­dents at Har­bour Grace Pri­mary anx­iously hover their hands over the buzzer at their ta­ble.

It’s Feb. 25 and teacher Heather Ivey is read­ing a trivia ques­tion from the makeshift Jeop­ardy board pro­jected on her white­board in a down­stairs class­room.

“What is 40 to 80 de­grees Fahren­heit?” she asks.

In a burst of en­ergy, the stu­dents, di­vided into three groups of eight, dive for their buzzers.

Ivy, us­ing her magic point­ing wand, chooses the mid­dle group as the win­ner. By be­ing a tad quicker on their buzzer, Team 2 has earned the right to an­swer.

Stu­dents are re­quired to work to­gether with the other mem­bers of their group prior to giv­ing an an­swer.

Hud­dling to­gether, they whis­per to each other un­til a com­mon an­swer is found.

Just like the pop­u­lar game show Jeop­ardy, the re­sponse must be given in the form of a ques­tion.

“What is the ideal tem­per­a­ture of the worm fac­tory?” says one of the stu­dents.

Ivey nods her ap­proval and con­tin­ues with the game, which in­cludes more trivia about worms. But, why worms? Well, stu­dents in both Ivey’s and Wanda Lee Roach’s class have been study­ing all there is to know about worms as a part of a 10week pro­gram in con­junc­tion with the Lower Trin­ity South Re­gional Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion and the Town of New Per­li­can.

This en­vi­ron­ment pro­gram had stu­dents uti­liz­ing the green house at neigh­bour­ing St. Fran­cis school to cre­ate and look af­ter a worm fac­tory.

Over the course of the project, stu­dents learned things about worms they did not know be­fore. Things like worms breathe through their skin and di­rect sun­light does more harm than good.

“I learned that worms lay eggs and I learned that there are three worms in each egg,” said nineyear-old Reid Bar­rett of Har­bour Grace.

New im­pres­sions

This project is good for help­ing stu­dents lose their ini­tial im­pres­sions of worms.

Hanna Doyle, 9, of Car­bon­ear, was one of the stu­dents who gained a new per­spec­tive on worms.

“I thought they were pretty dis­gust­ing,” she said.

Many look at worms as slimy, slith­er­ing things that you find in the dirt.

Hanna’s thoughts changed.

“I like them now. I squig­gly ones,” she said.

Jas­mine Stone of Har­bour Grace had mixed im­pres­sions of worms. She thought they were both “cool” and “kind of gross.” “They’re all cool now,” she said. Af­ter the game of worm jeop­ardy had fin­ished, the stu­dents all shared a de­lec­ta­ble fruit cup and were pre­sented with cer­tifi­cates by the project co-or­di­na­tor, Jill His­cock and Dianne Palmer, the foreper­son.

The stu­dents and teach­ers in the Grade 4 class at Har­bour Grace Pri­mary have now be­come wor­mol­o­gists.

“That’s even cooler,” said Reid.

have since




Pho­tos by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Randy Murphy pumps his fist in cel­e­bra­tion as his group gets a ques­tion right in Worm Jeop­ardy on Feb. 26.

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