Background – About WormClassroom

WormClassroom is intended to serve as an education portal for the research model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans; within the field it is also known as the “worm”). Information about what C. elegans is, what areas of scientific research use C. elegans and who is working on C. elegans can be found. Instructional materials created using C. elegans research resources are provided for teaching and learning various biology disciplines.

By making C. elegans research resources available for education, we aim to establish a framework for the dissemination of scientific research resources that science educators can follow and adapt. It is our hope that this framework will be useful to educators trying to use other model organisms (e.g.: fruitfly, zebrafish) in their curricula.

Frequently Asked Questions


1) What is C. elegans?

C. elegans is a free living round worm that is about 1 mm in length. It can be found in the soil in many regions and feeds on bacteria. Read more about C. elegans….

2) Why study C. elegans?

Although it is tiny and considered primitive, C. elegans shares many biological properties with other more advanced organisms, such as the human. Read more about its research potential….

3) What is WormClassroom?

WormClassroom is meant to be a community resource for all interested in teaching and learning with and about C. elegans. As worm is the common nickname for C. elegans, we use “WormClassroom” to refer to our mission which is to serve as an education portal to C. elegans research and resources. For the purpose of the web site, the terms “worm” and “C. elegans” will be used interchangeably.

4) What can be found at

Information such as what a worm is, who is working on the worm, what research has been done using the worm and the instructional materials developed using the resulting research data can be found.

5) Who is the target audience?

The material provided is aimed for informal and formal science education use. In particular, we have designed instructional materials for use in advanced high school and introductory college biology courses. We are seeking to make available instructional materials for K-12 as well. It is our hope that this web site may also be of use to new C. elegans researchers and the general public.

6) Why are C. elegans research resources being made available as educational materials?

As a widely studied model research organism, there are many important research findings and resources available from the C. elegans community. As these findings and resources have helped researchers elucidate key biological principles, they are also useful in teaching biological curriculum.

7) How can I contribute my C. elegans teaching and research materials to this site?

Your contributions are very welcome. To submit materials, please see the contributions page.

8) How do I cite materials from WormClassroom?

Resources at this site can be used freely for education purposes. If you would like to cite your use of a resource, you may use this format:, [date of publication, if available], [page title], [retrieved from URL]

For other uses, please write to flu2 [at] wisc [dot] edu (Fong-mei Lu) or eliceiri [at] wisc [dot] edu (Kevin Eliceiri).