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Darwin's Worms

Key info...

Learning level: Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2, Upper Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, GCSE and Key Stage 4
Location: Life's educational laboratories, Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Availibility: On demand
Minimum Attendance: 12

Open-ended investigation at its best. Students are shown a mass of wriggling worms and invited to suggest the kind of questions they would like to answer about them.

The class discuss which questions could be answered (ethically!) by experiment.

Groups choose their favourite question then carry out their own investigation to provide the answer using the wide variety of lab equipment provided.

A shorter, 1 hour version is recommended for KS1 groups.

What will you learn?

Curriculum Links
Science KS1 – Working Scientifically
  • Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways.
  • Observing closely, using simple equipment.
  • Performing simple tests.
  • Identifying and classifying.
  • Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions. 
Aims and Objectives
  • To identify things we could find out about worms and which of these we could test out.
  • To design and carry out an experiment to answer a question about our worms.
Curriculum Links

Science LKS2 – Working Scientifically
  • Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.
  • Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment.
  • Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.
  • Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral explanations.
  • Using results to draw simple conclusions, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Aims and objectives
  • Design and carry out an investigation to find out more about worms.
  • To consider how to make a test fair and ethical.
Curriculum Links

Science UKS2 – Working Scientifically
  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  • Recording data and results.
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral form.
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.
  • Design and carry out an investigation to find out more about worms.
  • To consider how to make a test fair and ethical.

Aims and objectives
  • Design and carry out an investigation to find out more about worms
  • To consider how to make a test fair and ethical
Curriculum Links

Science KS3 Working Scientifically – Experimental skills and investigations
  • Ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience.
  • Make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding.
  • Select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying independent, dependent and control variables, where appropriate.
  • Use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety.
  • Make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements.

Aims and objectives
  • Design and carry out an investigation to find out more about worms.
  • To consider how to make a test fair and ethical.