Worms live in soil. What else do they do? As twenty-three fourth grade students learned on April 9, they poop out compost!

Students from the Young Scholars’ Academy for Discovery and Exploration (PS636) didn’t just learn about worm poop on this windy spring day. They played with it! After Director of Education Programs Christine Petro gave a brief history of the Gowanus Canal, the energetic 9-year-olds incorporated food scraps into a compost windrow, sifted compost, and cared for nursery plants. In-between all of the work was playtime with the hundreds of worms buried under our compost piles.

“I found a worm!” one student shouted. As two classmates leaned over to look, two others passed by with a wheelbarrow of fresh mulch to be delivered to the nursery. After a few seconds, the worm wrangler chucked his new friend into a compost pile and continued to build the compost windrow.

Worms weren’t just something to ogle at for these energetic kids. “Worms poop out compost,” a student recanted while shoveling mulch. “It’s good for the plants.” Worms, compost and the outdoors aren’t just the stuff of after-school playground games. As the Young Scholars experienced, the foundations of environmental science can be taken from something as simple as a natural love for things that live in the dirt.

Program Manager Natasia Sidarta teaches a lesson on composting.

Program Manager Natasia Sidarta gives a lesson on composting and windrow turning. Photo provided by One To World

Collecting mulch to plant in the nursery.

Collecting mulch to plant in the nursery. Photo provided by One To World

Posing in front of the sifting table!

Posing in front of the sifting table!

To find out more about the program that brought PS636 and the Conservancy together, please visit One To World’s website.

For more information on School Clean & Greens and the Conservancy’s education programs, check out our Education page.