Groups, please post your Research below

Hardware Team

1. Biology of red worms.

They don't have any ears, eyes, or a nose, but they do have senses despite not having what we have to use for senses. Worms are both female and male but it still takes two worms to make baby earthworms. Worms are adapted to subterranean life and they take waste like fruit tops,peels and things we think are waste and they can turn it into useful product for gardens or even growing food. It is thought that worms came in the Cretaceous era, when dicotyledonous plants came but there is evidence of them earlier than the jurassic period meaning that earthworms could have been on earth for at least 120 million years also most scientists agree on this evidence of them being on earth for at least 120 million years. A greek philosopher Aristotle called the earthworms the intestines of the soil even ancient egyptians that earthworms are sacred said Cleopatra.

2. Essential needs of red worms (for example – food, shelter, water, oxygen, etc..).

Worms want a balanced diet of carbohydrates,fat,protien, and minerals also water so they stay hydrated. they will eat almost anything to start a compost you would normally start with fruit peels and tops or even coffee grounds from the filter and melons are a worms favorite food and even cheese in small amounts.

3. Best environment conditions for red worms to survive.

The worms need temperatures like  55 to 77 degrees F the temperatures that they like the best is 72 and 74 degrees F

4. Hazards to red worms (what may harm red worms’ survival).

Temps over 80 degrees or under 55 degrees F will slow down activity

Make sure to avoid or limit citrus meats and bones, Garlic, Spiced foods such as asian and mexican dishes, Hair , Dairy products, eggs, fresh manures or green waste, poisonous plants, oils, salt (dry out the worms) wood ashes and pet feces. No metals, Chemicals,foil,plastic  meat and eggs are not recommended for home composting bins because they have a strong odor also dairy products have a strong odor

5. Composting with red worms (what are the best conditions for these worms to compost in, what type of bedding and soil will work for these worms and why, what is the best type of compost to use, what types of gasses are released when worms compost).

6. What are the best conditions for composting; what could be data that we could collect during our experiment on the ISS? The best conditions would be to keep the temp between 72 and 74 degrees F and make sure to avoid or limit citrus meats and bones, Garlic, Spiced foods such as asian and mexican dishes, Hair , Dairy products, eggs, fresh manures or green waste, poisonous plants, oils, salt (dry out the worms) wood ashes and pet feces. No metals, Chemicals,foil,plastic  meat and eggs are not recommended for home composting bins because they have a strong odor also dairy products have the same strong odor The data we would collect is how they are affected by microgravity and if composting slows down due to the lower gravity or if it speeds up the process also how it affects the worms themselves

7. Microgravity on ISS and how microgravity affects biology of organisms.

The worms will be affected by microgravity because all living things can change when in a different environment Gravity has constantly influenced both physical and biological phenomena throughout all the Earth’s history. The gravitational field could be a part of the evolution of animals the worms would have o counteract gravity, living organisms would need to develop systems to provide cell membrane rigidity, fluid flow regulation, and appropriate structural support. However, gravity may influence in the way the cells behave and build themselves meaning the worms could be different than normal worms on the earth if they ever do come back to earth.

8. How will microgravity affect water, soil, compost?

Do to Micro gravity water will not be a true liquid neither will any other liquid everything floats due to the gravity changing when orbiting earth you are actually constantly falling gravity is there but pulling in all directions allowing you to float and everything to float liquid will float around the ship in bubbles or in a big floating puddle and the soil would float around to but if broken the tiny pieces of dirt would float around the space station and could cause something to not work if it was a sensitive machine Compost it would stay in the cannister but if room was left in there then the worms would have a hard time eating as well as getting around.


Software Team

1)      The Red Worms circulatory, muscular and excretory systems are contained within the “head” or the worm which takes up the first few segments or the worm.  The worm is split into 95 segments that perform different tasks.  The head of the worm also acts as a shovel.  It has small hairs on its head and also has a layer of mucus. These things all help the worm to burrow.  A worm has both male and female organs needed to reproduce.  However, it needs a mate to reproduce.  The worm eats as it digs through the soil.  The food passes through the digestive tract going first to the crop then to the gizzard and intestinal tract. The food then is excreted through the anus.  As the food passes through the digestive tract it is mixed with enzymes.  These enzymes bring the nutrients out of the food. The excess nutrients are excreted through the anus.  It is all these extra nutrients that make red worms so great for vermiculture comp

.osting.

2)      To survive an earthworm needs food that can be dirt or in our case compost. They also need some moisture to help them breathe as they don’t have lungs.

3)      The soil that the worms live in should be moist and warm to help them breathe.  They also prefer dark from light.

4)      If the soil dries out the worm will not be moist and the worm will not be able to breathe.  Too much water or moisture will mean that the worms can’t get any oxygen out of the soil so it is a balance as to how much moisture they need. A lack of food will mean that all of the worms will starve to death. Too much heat will also result in the worms drying out and dyeing.

5)      When making a compost bin you need something dark or opaque not glass or clear plastic.  This is because if the worms are in direct sunlight for too long they will become very irritated or die.  When choosing bedding good materials are: newspaper, cardboard, straw and dead or rotten leaves. These materials provide both food and a habitat for the worms to live in. When you

add this bedding to the bin you will need to moisten it. A good level of moisture is a little bit wetter than that or a wrung out sponge.   Next you will need food for the worms.  Some of the best food for worms that is readily available is food scraps. Some scraps, however, are better scraps than others. Here are some things that are good for your compost and good for the worms: vegetables and fruits (use citrus in moderation), starch, shredded newspaper, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags. These are thing that you should not put in your compost: non-biodegradable materials, dairy, meat, oil, grease, chemicals.

6)    The most important thing to measure is the moisture levels of the compost because with too little moisture the worms can die and with too much moisture the worms will die. we should also have a camera in the experiment to make sure that the worms are still alive. It would also be nice to measure pH levels because if the pH is too high or too low the worms will die.

7)  If the worms are in microgravity for a prolonged time of 30 days or more then they will have a loss of muscle mass and have a harder time adjusting when (and if they make it back alive) they make it back to earth. This is because in a microgravity environment the worms aren’t working their muscles as hard and they are eating the same so they will get weak and overweight.

8)  In a microgravity environment water clumps together. The soil will be relatively weightless and thus less compact. I think that this will affect the worms ability to move. I think that the compost will react similarly to the soil.

9)    West shore high school did a similar study of how Glutamic acid breaks down in space.

https://docs.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/presentation/d/1XbcqIbekxvXmer1M_oVSRTmlW6_qsKN26-FfPB3mLFg/edit

https://docs.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/presentation/d/1mVM5T2slAtTSYXosOI5CuDTS3cv8fAqhiR8MDgntvzw/edit#slide=id.p25

using the above links to the two software presentations we have learned a lot about the different functions and their uses. These have been a very good resource for the NESI software

Worms can buffer soil pH (acidity/alkalinity)

Below 50 degrees F, worms begin to slow down. At 40 degrees F, they burrow into the soil to find a more stable temperature.


Mechanical Team

BIOLOGY

NEEDS

LIVING CONDITIONS

HAZARDS

COMPOST

COMPOSTING CONDITIONS AND DATA

                                          data

MICROGRAVITY

MICROGRAVITY EFFECT

PAST EXPERIMENTS


Structure Team

1. Biology-

2. Needs

3. Environment conditions

4. Hazards

5. Composting

6. Data and conditions

7. Microgravity

8. Microgravity effects on water soil and compost

9. Other experiments

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/downloads/pdf/materials/tipsheet-worm-facts.pdf

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/getting-started/

http://www.cathyscomposters.com/worms.htm

http://media.yurisnight.net/outreach/janetsplanetcurriculum/educator-microgravity_science_stu.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_in_space


Art Group


Communications Group

1. Biology of red worms.

      Worms do not have ears, eyes, or a nose but they have a mouth. In their mouth they have no teeth or jaws. Each worm is male and female but it still takes two worms to reproduce. Worms are adapted to the subterranean life, and they excel with using our waste as a useful product. Worms have five hearts and no legs. Earthworms are cold-blooded invertebrates and hence have no backbones. Instead worms are broken down into segments that vary in the width of their body. With the largest part of their body being in the front region of the worms body. The segments are numbered and scientists use the numbers to differentiate among earthworm species. The mature worms have a part on their body called the clitellum.This part on their body is the glandular portion epidermis, or skin which is associated with the cocoon formation. The clitellum can be differ widely among many different worm species. Sometimes it occurs as a swollen area on the worm, others see it as a well defined part of the worm. The clitellum can be a different color than the rest of the worm--usually darker or lighter in tone, but sometimes a completely different color. The position of the clitellum on the body of the worm differs in each species as well.

2. Essential needs of red worms (for example – food, shelter, water, oxygen, etc..).

Light/Darkness, Moisture, Temperature Heat/Cold, Food,and Oxygen.

3. Best environment conditions for red worms to survive.

Natural Habitat: Climate, Geography, Soil, Burrows, Compost.

Vermiculture: Worm Bin, Setting Up, Food Waste, Maintaining, Harvesting, Castings.

The best environment for the worms to survive: The soil or bedding needs to be moist in order for the worms to breathe, the moisture level in the bin should be 70 and 80 percent . For the soil to be ideal have 35 to 45 percent water in the soil because Earthworms can be found in soil with as much as 70 percent water. Most composting worms work best at temperatures between 59 and 77 degrees fahrenheit.

4. Hazards to red worms (what may harm red worms’ survival).

A hazard to worms is drying out so make sure that  their habitat is very moist. Also temperatures under 50 degrees fahrenheit or above 86 degrees fahrenheit can be harmful to worms. Freezing temperatures can kill your worms. One thing that should never be put in the worms habitat is metals, foil, plastics, chemicals, or soaps. If you use (American) Peat moss for your bedding it could harm the worms because (American) Peat moss is likely to contain impurities and to be tough and stringy.

5. Composting with red worms (what are the best conditions for these worms to compost in, what type of bedding and soil will work for these worms and why, what is the best type of compost to use, what types of gasses are released when worms compost).

All bedding materials should conform to certain requirements. Bedding should:

       The bedding should meet all of these requirements but the most widely used bedding is Peat moss, or Sphagnum moss. Most people have preferred to use Canadian peat moss, because it is believed to be much more sterile medium. Where American peat moss is more likely to contain impurities and to be tough and stringy, which may be more harmful for the worms. If the only peat moss you can buy is (American) peat moss then there's a way use can use it. Some worm growers use (American) peat moss and they soak the moss in water for several hours and then squeezed of excess water. Then the process is done several times until only clear water runs from the moss.

6. What are the best conditions for composting; what could be data that we could collect during our experiment on the ISS?

The best conditions for the worms to compost is for their habitat to have bedding they can burrow, have the habitat at the right temperature, have the moisture level correct, and make sure that we are giving the worms the correct food to compost.

Some data we can collect for the experiment on the ISS, what the worms compost the best, what they don’t compost well, how long they live, and the worms behavior.

7. Microgravity on ISS and how microgravity affects biology of organisms.

 

The microgravity environment can be used to better understand, accelerate or delay biophysical/biochemical processes, which could lead to new biologically based products or improve existing ones, via process-oriented applied research.

8. How will microgravity affect water, soil, compost?

The microgravity might affect the water, soil, and compost by the the water not absorbing into the soil and the compost no decomposing into the soil as fast as on Earth.

9. Other biology experiments sent to the ISS and how they made the habitats work for the science questions they were exploring.

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/postsecondary/features/F_Biology_Habitats_ISS.html

Habitats in the Space Station Fundamental Biology Research Facility (SSFBRF) enable studies on a variety of organisms across multiple science disciplines. They allow scientists to conduct experiments in habitats that are similar in design to those that have been used in labs for ground studies. Each habitat provides life support, environmental control, and monitoring systems and can be housed in one or more of the three major host systems: the Centrifuge, Life Sciences Glovebox, and Habitat Holding Rack. This hardware was designed to automate as much as possible, thus providing maximizing science return while requiring minimal crew time.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/experiments_hardware.html#Biology-and-Biotechnology

An example for an experiment that was sent to the ISS was Rodent Research Hardware and Operations Validation (Rodent Research-1) - 08/12/14

Operational Protocols

Crew installs the Habitat into the Express Rack, connects the power connectors and turns on lights and fans, and installs food bars.  The Transporter and Access Unit are de-stowed and animals are transferred from the Transporter to two Habitats using Mouse Transfer Boxes.  Half of the animals are used to support CASIS science, the other half support NASA hardware validation.  Every 3 days for the first 12 days crewmembers check the water box through the lid and report any obvious signs of leakage or condensation indicating a problem with the water system.

There is one dissection session no earlier than 21 days after transfer to Habitat, preferably 30 days after transfer, in which 2 NASA animals are transferred to the MSG, euthanized, and tissues dissected and stored in the MELFI. Crewmembers dissect and freeze the animals’ livers and preserve their spleens by fixation. The remaining samples are frozen for return on the following SpaceX vehicle. During the final NASA rodent operations on-orbit session, the remaining 8 animals are euthanized and frozen in the MELFI for downmass to verify animal body weight. This allows researchers to verify that the animals were eating and drinking properly. All samples will be returned home on a SpaceX vehicle.


Biology - Compost Team

1. Biology of red worms.

      Worms do not have ears, eyes, or a nose but they have a mouth. In their mouth they have no teeth or jaws. Each worm is male and female but it still takes two worms to reproduce. Worms are adapted to the subterranean life, and they excel with using our waste as a useful product. Worms have five hearts and no legs. Earthworms are cold-blooded invertebrates and hence have no backbones. Instead worms are broken down into segments that vary in the width of their body. With the largest part of their body being in the front region of the worms body. The segments are numbered and scientists use the numbers to differentiate among earthworm species. The mature worms have a part on their body called the clitellum.This part on their body is the glandular portion epidermis, or skin which is associated with the cocoon formation. The clitellum can be differ widely among many different worm species. Sometimes it occurs as a swollen area on the worm, others see it as a well defined part of the worm. The clitellum can be a different color than the rest of the worm--usually darker or lighter in tone, but sometimes a completely different color. The position of the clitellum on the body of the worm differs in each species as well.

2. Essential needs of red worms (for example – food, shelter, water, oxygen, etc..).

Light/Darkness, Moisture, Temperature Heat/Cold, Food,and Oxygen.

3. Best environment conditions for red worms to survive.

Natural Habitat: Climate, Geography, Soil, Burrows, Compost.

Vermiculture: Worm Bin, Setting Up, Food Waste, Maintaining, Harvesting, Castings.

The best environment for the worms to survive: The soil or bedding needs to be moist in order for the worms to breathe, the moisture level in the bin should be 70 and 80 percent . For the soil to be ideal have 35 to 45 percent water in the soil because Earthworms can be found in soil with as much as 70 percent water. Most composting worms work best at temperatures between 59 and 77 degrees fahrenheit.

4. Hazards to red worms (what may harm red worms’ survival).

A hazard to worms is drying out so make sure that  their habitat is very moist. Also temperatures under 50 degrees fahrenheit or above 86 degrees fahrenheit can be harmful to worms. Freezing temperatures can kill your worms. One thing that should never be put in the worms habitat is metals, foil, plastics, chemicals, or soaps. If you use (American) Peat moss for your bedding it could harm the worms because (American) Peat moss is likely to contain impurities and to be tough and stringy.

5. Composting with red worms (what are the best conditions for these worms to compost in, what type of bedding and soil will work for these worms and why, what is the best type of compost to use, what types of gasses are released when worms compost).

All bedding materials should conform to certain requirements. Bedding should:

       The bedding should meet all of these requirements but the most widely used bedding is Peat moss, or Sphagnum moss. Most people have preferred to use Canadian peat moss, because it is believed to be much more sterile medium. Where American peat moss is more likely to contain impurities and to be tough and stringy, which may be more harmful for the worms. If the only peat moss you can buy is (American) peat moss then there's a way use can use it. Some worm growers use (American) peat moss and they soak the moss in water for several hours and then squeezed of excess water. Then the process is done several times until only clear water runs from the moss.

6. What are the best conditions for composting; what could be data that we could collect during our experiment on the ISS?

The best conditions for the worms to compost is for their habitat to have bedding they can burrow, have the habitat at the right temperature, have the moisture level correct, and make sure that we are giving the worms the correct food to compost.

Some data we can collect for the experiment on the ISS, what the worms compost the best, what they don’t compost well, how long they live, and the worms behavior.

7. Microgravity on ISS and how microgravity affects biology of organisms.

 

The microgravity environment can be used to better understand, accelerate or delay biophysical/biochemical processes, which could lead to new biologically based products or improve existing ones, via process-oriented applied research.

8. How will microgravity affect water, soil, compost?

The microgravity might affect the water, soil, and compost by the the water not absorbing into the soil and the compost no decomposing into the soil as fast as on Earth.

9. Other biology experiments sent to the ISS and how they made the habitats work for the science questions they were exploring.

Compost Specific:

best bedding for worms is leaves with soil

ratios:

compost to worm- 2 to 1

soil to bedding-

soil to worms-

bedding to worms-

soil to moisture-


Biology - Testing Team

 All information comes from http://r4wormcompost.wordpress.com/all-about-red-worms/

Did you know red worms can eat their own weight in 24hours?!

Vermi” means worm. A worm is an elongated soft-bodies invertebrate animal which means it doesn’t have a backbone. Although there are an estimated 1800 types of worms, the primary worm in indoor vermicomposting is Eisenia Fetida (or  red Worms, composting worms, red wiggler worms…). The red wiggler worm is native to Europe but today can be found all over the world.

1. Pharynx: A muscle that sucks food in through the mouth

2. Esophagus: This is where the food passes through

3. Crop: Food is stored and moistened here

4. Gizzard: A muscular chamber where mechanical digestion occurs; the food is pulverized with the aid of small bits of sand and gravel. Coffee grounds added in moderation also aid in the grinding of food. The more availability to tiny rough particles for grinding up the food – the better quality of worm castings for your plants.

5. Intestine: Further digestion and absorption occurs here, has a dorsal fold (the typhlosole) that increases the surface area for nutrient absorption.

These worms require a nutrient rich environment, like compost, whereas earthworms (anecic or burrowing worms) like mineral based homes like regular garden soil. Red wiggler worms are epigeic worms, or surface dweller worms, which means they live in the upper layers of soil consisting of rich organic matter. If you put your composting worms in the backyard it is unlikely they will survive unless the soil is very rich in decomposing organic matter. The worms have Noacids (bacteria) living in their guts, which is what allows them to break down food so easily. These worms secrete casting, a nutrient rich substance that is readily available as nutrients to plants. In this excretion there is a substance that kills pathogenic bacteria. If this substance is placed in a petri dish with E. coli bacteria, not only does the substance kill the bacteria, but the worms then proceed to eat it. This is why this method of composting is becoming more popular in restaurants today.

How do worms breath, smell and hear?!

Red worms have no eyes, ears or lungs. They have an organ called a ganglia, which is comparable to a very tiny brain. They breathe through their skin, this is why it is very important for their skin to stay moist as to allow gas exchange. The air which is present between soil and food particles is diffused through their moist skin into a complex network of blood vessels. The mucus they excrete helps keep their skin moist.  They have a complex nervous system, which enables them to sense light, food, acidic conditions, vibrations and heat.  The worms have no teeth, so they can only eat what is small enough to pass through their system. If large food scraps are added the worms will have to wait for it to break down naturally into smaller pieces before they can eat it. For ingesting food, a red worm uses a small pad of flesh that sticks out above its mouth to consume the bacteria that breaks down the compost. When the worm is eating, the pad stretches out and scoops the food up, pushing it into its mouth. These nutritious particles are absorbed into the worm’s bloodstream, which is pumped around the worm’s five “hearts” (not the same as human hearts). The remaining particles are passed out of the worm as casting.

Red Worms are hermaphrodites, which means they contain both male and female organs, but they still require 2 worms to reproduce. Mature worms (mating worms) can be seen because they have a clear muscular band near one end of their bodies called the clitellum, which they use in fertilization. The 2 worms rub beside each other, both releasing sperm and eggs, sliding in opposite directions. Cocoons are formed from the rolling of mucus around the sperm and eggs between the bodies, which are soft at first, but mature into small amber balls that resemble the seeds of a bell pepper. Each adult worm can produce about 6 cocoons per week and each can carry around 3-4 worms, this means that the mating of 2 adult worms produces approximately 18-24 new baby worms every week! It takes about 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch, and another 1-2months to reach full maturity. It is estimated that it takes approximately 2 months for a bin to double its population, and under good conditions this numer is higher. Earthworms have shown to live up to 4 or 5 years, but the red wiggler worm still remains a fairly understudied creature. It is guessed that they can live for a few years, but not quite as long as a garden earthworm.

2)http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm 

A few drops of moisture released by squeezing could be a guideline for the right amount. If five or more drops are produced the material is too wet. The ideal temperature for worms is between 55 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

The worms need oxygen Redworms need oxygen to live. They produce carbon dioxide. Air circulation is a must in and around a worm box.

DOOOO

Most kitchen waste or table scraps, any vegetables, grapefruits, orange rinds, apple peels, lettuce and cabbage, celery ends, spoiled food from the refrigerator, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells are all suitable worm meals.

DONT!!!!!!!!!!

 (Remember, no meat or dairy products belong in a worm bin.)

Don’t use meat or milk products in the worm bin. Mice and rats could be attracted to the odors!

Also, non-biodegradable materials don’t belong in a worm box.

Cat litter should not be used, either. The odor of cat urine is intolerable to worms, plus the ammonia in the urine could kill the worms! Cats can carry the disease Taxoplasma gondii. This can transfer to humans. For example, a pregnant woman could inhale some of the protozoan and pass the disease on to her fetus, causing birth defects.

When it comes to drinking they aren’t going to the sink to lap up some water they way you and I would. They are going to absorb some moisture through their skin, and inject some that is part of the food they are eating. As long as the mixture in your worm bin is about as moist as a rung out sponge then you are all set. If it ever feels dry then a number of squirts of a hand spray bottle should do the trick.

  1. Corrugated cardboard is an excellent material for bedding. Be careful not to breathe in the dust if you shred it. Corrugated cardboard holds moisture better than any other material. Some people use a piece of corregated cardboard to cover their bedding. In a "wet" environment, it can help to absorb some liquid, and will eventually disinegrate.
  2. Shredded newsprint and computer strips can be used. The papers should be shredded in long lengths of ¼" wide strips. It’s easily moistened, but the strips don’t keep the moisture as well. Strips provide more surface area from which the water can evaporate. They require frequent moistening. The black ink used for printing the newspaper is not toxic to redworms. The main ingredients of black ink are carbon and some oils. Colored ink should be avoided. There used to be heavy metals, such as lead and chrome, in colored ink. US Government regulations now forbid the use of heavy metals in colored ink for printing newspapers.
  3. Shredded newspaper is the most economic material. Make the strips from one to two’ long by ½ to 1" wide. Redworms will eat the paper after it has softened.
  4. Some people may object to the initial odors of animal manures. It is not recommended to use manures if the box will be located in your living area! Animal manures have other organisms such as mites, sowbugs, centipedes or grubs that you wouldn’t want in your home. But if the box will be outside or in a garage, manures would be fine. Worms really like manures. Reminder—no pet, people or pig manures!
  5. Old decaying leaves are a good source of bedding. Some leaves are better than others are. For example, maple leaves are preferred over oak leaves, because the latter take longer to break down. Leaves from trees growing along heavily traveled roads could be dangerous because of possible lead accumulation on the leaves.
  6. Peat moss can be used if mixed with other bedding materials. It has an excellent moisture holding capacity, however it provides no nutrients for the worms, and can be expensive.
  7. A handful of soil provides the grit worms need for breaking down food particles within the gizzard. Since worms don’t have teeth, their food must be broken down by muscle action in their gizzards.

3)http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm 

Hazards to red worms include not enough food, not enough moisture,

not big enough bedding

Don’t use meat or milk products in the worm bin. Mice and rats could be attracted to the odors!

Also, non-biodegradable materials don’t belong in a worm box.

Cat litter should not be used, either. The odor of cat urine is intolerable to worms, plus the ammonia in the urine could kill the worms! Cats can carry the disease Taxoplasma gondii. This can transfer to humans.

4)http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm 

Corrugated cardboard is an excellent material for bedding. Be careful not to breathe in the dust if you shred it. Corrugated cardboard holds moisture better than any other material. Some people use a piece of corregated cardboard to cover their bedding. In a "wet" environment, it can help to absorb some liquid, and will eventually disinegrate.

Shredded newsprint and computer strips can be used. The papers should be shredded in long lengths of ¼" wide strips. It’s easily moistened, but the strips don’t keep the moisture as well. Strips provide more surface area from which the water can evaporate. They require frequent moistening. The black ink used for printing the newspaper is not toxic to redworms. The main ingredients of black ink are carbon and some oils. Colored ink should be avoided. There used to be heavy metals, such as lead and chrome, in colored ink. US Government regulations now forbid the use of heavy metals in colored ink for printing newspapers.

Shredded newspaper is the most economic material. Make the strips from one to two’ long by ½ to 1" wide. Redworms will eat the paper after it has softened.

Some people may object to the initial odors of animal manures. It is not recommended to use manures if the box will be located in your living area! Animal manures have other organisms such as mites, sowbugs, centipedes or grubs that you wouldn’t want in your home. But if the box will be outside or in a garage, manures would be fine. Worms really like manures. Reminder—no pet, people or pig manures!

Old decaying leaves are a good source of bedding. Some leaves are better than others are. For example, maple leaves are preferred over oak leaves, because the latter take longer to break down. Leaves from trees growing along heavily traveled roads could be dangerous because of possible lead accumulation on the leaves.

Peat moss can be used if mixed with other bedding materials. It has an excellent moisture holding capacity, however it provides no nutrients for the worms, and can be expensive.

A handful of soil provides the grit worms need for breaking down food particles within the gizzard. Since worms don’t have teeth, their food must be broken down by muscle action in their gizzards.

Size depends on the average pounds of kitchen waste per week. A box measuring 1’ by 2’ by 3’ can handle 6 pounds of kitchen waste, which is the average for families from 4 to 6 people. A smaller sized box, 1’ by 2’ by 2’, can handle kitchen waste for 2 people.

Redworms need a moist environment. Worms breathe through their skin. Skin must be moist in order to breathe.

Redworms tolerate a wide range of temperatures, however, the ideal temperature is between 55 – 77 degrees F. Bedding with a temperature above 84 degrees F. is harmful, sometimes fatal, to redworm populations. The temperature should be measured inside the box, because the temperature in the moist bedding is usually lower than the outside air.

Redworms should be protected from freezing temperatures. Temperatures below 50 degrees F. slow down worm activity.

5)When choosing a container in which to compost with worms, you should keep in mind the amount of food scraps you wish to compost, and where the bin will be located. A good size bin for the classroom is a 5- to 10- gallon box or approximately 24" X 18" X 8". The box should be shallow rather than deep, as red wigglers are surface-dwellers and prefer to live in the top 6" of the soil..

Whether you choose a plastic, wooden or glass container to use as a worm bin is a matter of personal preference based primarily on what is available. Some teachers have extra aquariums available. Some have wooden boxes which they would like to reuse. Others may prefer to buy or reuse a plastic container, such as commercially manufactured storage bin (e.g. "Rubbermaid," "Tucker," "Sterilite").

No matter what material you choose, make sure to rinse out the container before using. For wooden bins, line the bottom with plastic (e.g. from a plastic bag or old shower curtain). Cover the bin with a loose fitting lid. This lid should allow air into the bin.

Redworms tolerate a wide range of temperatures, however, the ideal temperature is between 55 – 77 degrees F. Bedding with a temperature above 84 degrees F. is harmful, sometimes fatal, to redworm populations. The temperature should be measured inside the box, because the temperature in the moist bedding is usually lower than the outside air.

Redworms should be protected from freezing temperatures. Temperatures below 50 degrees F. slow down worm activity.

Redworms need a moist environment. Worms breathe through their skin. Skin must be moist in order to breathe.

6)Redworms tolerate a wide range of temperatures, however, the ideal temperature is between 55 – 77 degrees F. Bedding with a temperature above 84 degrees F. is harmful, sometimes fatal, to redworm populations. The temperature should be measured inside the box, because the temperature in the moist bedding is usually lower than the outside air.

Redworms should be protected from freezing temperatures. Temperatures below 50 degrees F. slow down worm activity.

Redworms need a moist environment. Worms breathe through their skin. Skin must be moist in order to breathe.

Good moisture not too hot but not too cold

also no harsh chemicals in the bedding area because the harsh chemicals can make the worms sick and toxic and can jeopardize the ISS project

7)http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/si/171658/cfp/ 

Gravity has constantly influenced both physical and biological phenomena throughout all the Earth’s history. The gravitational field has probably played a major role in shaping evolution when life moved from water to land, even if, for a while, it has been generally deemed to influence natural selection only by limiting the range of acceptable body sizes, according to Galilei’s principle. Indeed, to counteract gravity, living organisms would need to develop systems to provide cell membrane rigidity, fluid flow regulation, and appropriate structural support and locomotion. However, gravity may influence in a more deep and subtle fashion the way the cells behave and build themselves. Gravity, indeed, represents an ‘inescapable’ constraint that obliges living beings to adopt only a few configurations among many others. By ‘removing’ the gravitational field, living structures will be free to recover more degrees of freedom, thus acquiring new phenotypes and new functions/properties. That statement raises several crucial questions. Some of these entail fundamentals of theoretical biology, as they question the gene- centered paradigm, according to which biological behavior can be explained by solely genetic mechanisms. Indeed, influence of physical cues in biology (and, in particular, on gene expression) is still now largely overlooked. This is why it has been argued that the ultimate reason for human space exploration is precisely to enable us to discover ourselves. Undoubtedly, the microgravitational-space field presents an unlimited horizon for investigation and discovery. Controlled studies conducted in microgravity can advance our knowledge, providing amazing insights into the biological mechanism underlying physiology as well as many relevant diseases, like cancer. Thereby, space-based investigations may serve as a novel paradigm for innovation in basic and applied science.


Experimental Design Team

-A red worm is white and the size of a snip of thread when it first hatches from the cocoon. It is called a juvenile for about the first 60 days of life. The egg sack is about 1/3 of the way down from the mouth end and surrounds the worm's body. As an adult, the worm crawls out of the cocoon. Under ideal conditions, a mature red worm reaches it's peak reproduction at about 90 days when it begins to drop a cocoon about every 7 to 10 days.

- Each cacoon can hatch about 20 worms depending on the temperture and moisture.

-Worms have  no teeth

-Is a invertabrate

https://docs.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/file/d/0BwcgJWa28_7SMHFibkxvbTQ0NWs/edit?usp=docslist_api

-Red worms have no eyes, ears or lungs. They have an organ called a ganglia, which is comparable to a very tiny brain, They breathe through their skin.

-They create mucas to keep their skin moist to breath.

2) Essential needs of a red worm

-They eat almost anything organic

-Fresh supply of air

- Wet Bedding that takes about 3/4 or 1/2 of the box up

-They need water

-Moderate temperatures

3) Best environment conditions for red worms to survive

-75 to 85% moisture content but will drown in too much water

- Most ideal temperature is 15-25 degrees celcious

-Minimal Light

-No vibration

4) Hazards to red worms

-To much water

-Vibraation

- extreme temperatures

5) Composting with red with red worms

-15-25 degrees C

- 75-85% moisture

-Darkness

- Leave bedding out before getting worms so bacteria can grow

- Moist shredded newspaper and a small amount of dirt

-Put food scraps under newspaper

- No meat, dairy, bones, or oils

-Worms release nitrous oxide and a small amount of carbon dioxide

6) What data could we collect

-If the worms live

-Moisture level change

-The efficiency of the worms composting

7)

-On ISS gravity still exerts 90%

-On ISS you are on a constant freefall

-Recent experiments have proven that alterations in metabolism, immune cell function, cell division, and cell attachment all occur in the hypogravity of space. after a matter of days in microgravity, human immune cells were unable to differentiate into mature cells. certain cells cannot differentiate in space, organisms may not be able to reproduce successfully after exposure to zero gravity

-Microgravity caan causs stress

8) How will microgravity affect water soil and compost

-water and oxygen stresses limit plant growth

-Microgravity effects on water flow and distribution in unsaturated porous media: analyses of flight experiments.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11543365

Sources:

http://www.redworms.com

http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/redwormbiology.html

http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/redwormsedit.htm

http://www.cathyscomposters.com/faq.htm

http://www.projectgrowgardens.org/uploads/media_items/one-page-guide-to-vermicomposting.original.pdf

http://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2010_worm_bin_basics.pdf

http://www.worldofworms.com/worms/worm-care/

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-effects-of-harmful-organisms/

http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/steps.html