S.K. Worm

Talking Earth Worm Teaches Importance of Soil

What better way to learn about soil than to have a critter that lives in the soil tell all about its’ environment? The Erie Basin Resource Conservation and Development Council is hoping that third grade students will think that there is no better way, which is why they commissioned the creation of S.K. Worm. 

S.K. Worm was born at (BG) Life Formations and arrived at the Erie Basin RC&D office on March 1st, 2010. This project consists of a six foot tall museum quality animatronics model of the NRCS mascot S. K. Worm coming out of a detailed soil monolith that shows soil layers, structure, color, rocks, animals, and artifacts. S. K. Worm allows for basic audience interactivity. The model moves and talks; activated either by a push button interface or from live takeover controlled by an instructor. 

Designed to help third grade students meet their Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Benchmarks for Earth and Space science, the model will teach soil composition, soil conservation, soil diversity, and renewable energy. The model can also be used at events to educate the general public on the importance of soils in our environment, including fairs, field days, day camps, and other venues. 

The S.K. Worm model is available for rental by educators and other groups. A trailer painted with an environmental mural transports the model.

Erie Basin is made up of ten counties in North Central Ohio including Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood, and Wyandot. Erie Basin is governed by a thirty member council made up of County Commissioners, Soil and Water Conservation District board members , and members at large.

For more information on the S.K. Worm model, including detailed rental information, contact the Erie Basin RC&D at 419-681-6013. The Erie Basin RC&D Office is located in Norwalk, Ohio. 

This project was funded by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund, the Erie Basin RC&D Council, the Lake Erie Buffer Team, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Ohio Electric Cooperatives.

On March 1, 2018, S.K. Worm celebrated it's 8th birthday & excellent record of performance. Since his arrival S.K. has performed 200 days at 124 events. He has made presentations to 60 schools, 214 classes and 5,360 students. S K Worm has helped students meet the Ohio Department of Education Science Standards for soils. Over 44,450 adults and 38,910 children have enjoyed learning about this country’s greatest natural resource, its soil. SK has traveled over 10,629 miles visiting 48 counties and 3 states. S. K. Worm is transported in a trailer modified with a wrap showing a cross section of the state of Ohio starting on the shores of Lake Erie and ending on the banks of the Ohio River. Ohio Geology, Ohio energy sources, and conservation practices are depicted on the trailer. He’s earned $11,090.

The cost of this animatronics marvel was $52,000. The trailer to haul him was $3000 plus a $4,000 wrap. The entire project cost was over $80,000.

On May 30, 2015, Mike Patterson delivered S.K.W. to his Birth Place (BG) Life Formations for brain surgery (replace a computer module) & refurbishing - at a cost of $1,000.

The S.K. Worm Committee Members are Janet Dell Freeman & Carrie Whitaker, P.E..

Documents about S.K. Worm


Watch Video of Singing Giant Six Foot Tall Earth Worm!!!!