Middle and high school students love to grow bacteria in a lab setting. In this biology lab, students swab different locations in the school in an attempt to determine which location has the highest number of microorganisms.
What is the purpose of this lab??
To determine where in the school environment you would find the greatest numbers and kinds of microorganisms.
What materials are needed?
• Petri dishes of nutrient agar
• Masking tape
• Sharpie markers
• Cotton swabs
• Incubator (optional)
This lab has always been a favorite of my high school Biology I students, but the lab is appropriate for middle school students as well. Biology students love growing bacteria, and in this lab they try to determine to location in the school that has the most bacteria. There is really nothing very scientific or reliable about the data, but it is a fun activity that your students will love. Students do not need much background information to complete this lab, so you can use this lab as an introduction to your unit on microorganisms, or it works just as well as an ending activity.
Your 6 page download will include a lab that is ready to be photocopied and passed out to your students. It will include: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Materials, Safety Precautions, Procedure, Observation Questions, and Data Tables. You can chose to have your students write their own lab reports or you can have them use the included Student Data Sheets on which they can record their data and answer the questions.
I have also included a Teacher Preparation Page. This will include pre-lab discussion, answers to all questions, and post lab follow up ideas. Instructions for mixing agar and pouring plates is included.
You will download two versions of the lab: A pdf version and an editable Word document.
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