Light Fright

LIGHT FRIGHT

If you’ve ever been in your yard after a hard rain, or had the chance to dig up a large rock from your garden, chances are, you’ve run across a worm. Besides their being great for catching fish, most of us don’t know a lot about worms. They may be a little odd to look at, and it may seem as though they don’t serve much of a purpose, but worms are very important to the earth. They actually make soil better for growing.

QUESTION

Do worms prefer light or darkness?

MATERIALS

Shoe box Earthworms, either from your Scissors yard or from a bait shop Paper towels Desk lamp

Procedure

light fright

Light Fright Science Fair Project

Cut off about one-third of the lid of the shoe box. Thoroughly wet several pieces of paper towel and lay them on the bottom of the box. Place the worms on the paper towels toward one end of the box. Try to space them evenly so they don’t overlap one another.

CAUTION

Make sure you handle the worms gently and with respect. A true scientist treats all creatures with care. Place the lid on the box so the opening is on the same side as the worms. Place the lamp above the box so that it sits about 1 to 2 feet higher than the top of the box. Let the box sit for 15 to 30 minutes. When you return, remove the lid and look at where the worms ended up.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Worms tend to avoid light. That’s why they like the dirt so much. When you shined the light into the box, most of them moved as far away from the light as they could get. In some cases, worms will even crawl under the paper towel to avoid the light. Worms can’t see like we do, but they can sense light. When their nervous system senses the light, they immediately begin moving away from it.