August 15, 2013


PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, August 15, 2013 – Students from around the world, not just at Owens Community College, can learn about vermicomposting through an animated video and lesson plan published to TED-Ed by Owens faculty member Matt Ross.

Vermicomposting is the process in which worms convert organic waste materials into an excreted soil additive known as castings. Students in Owens’ LTM 102 Soil Science course will learn about vermicomposting through this and other online lessons this fall.

“Students have already expressed appreciation for this video and were inspired to take action in the world of worms,” Ross said. “Due to the immense popularity of YouTube, students appreciate the short, entertaining, yet informative, delivery of Ted-Ed.”

This four-minute video, which explains worms’ role in an emerging agricultural growth sector, is part of a series focused on quick lessons for educations and students from around the world. TED-Ed is an extension of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) programming initiated by Richard Saul Wurman, which has included lectures from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates. TED-Ed has more than 350,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel and offers a wide range of entertaining and impactful lessons.

Ross, who has been an Owens faculty member for five years, was nominated for the opportunity to publish a video by Owens Landscape Turfgrass management alumna Jennifer Taynor. The opportunity was part of a competition sponsored by Kohl’s.

During the several-month process, Ross worked with a team of professional writers, voice actor Addison Anderson and animator Johan Sonestedt to complete the animated short directed by Veronica Wallenberg.

“I hope the video will inspire people from around the world to think about alternative approaches to reducing the current waste stream,” Ross said.

A series of lesson plans were created to go along with the video and act as a resource for educators looking to incorporate the world of worms into their classroom. The lesson plan has links to websites, journal articles and reference texts to assist educators from elementary to collegiate levels.

The video can be viewed at:

LTM 102 is in the curriculum for several Owens offerings, including the Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate, the Landscape and Turfgrass Management Program and the Golf Course/Athletic Field Management Program. For additional information about any of these offerings, call (567) 661-7623 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7623.

TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within the growing TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.

Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit