Microbiology

Course Description:
This is a semester long, senior circle, course designed to expose students to the world of Microbiology. Throughout the course we will explore and investigate different types of Microbes by observing, growing and dissecting. This course is designed in such a way that students are constantly exposed to investigations that require them to research, hypothesize, observe, collect data, analyze data and draw conclusions. During each investigation, the students will familiarize themselves with scientific equipment and determine which tools would allow them to effectively solve the problems they are given.
Students will differentiate between bacterial, fungal and protist morphology and describe the similarities and differences between bacterial, fungal and protist reproduction. In addition, students will be able to discuss the importance of optimal growth conditions: Temperature, humidity, pH, light exposure, living space, and energy source for microbes.
Finally, students will be able to use aseptic techniques to culture microbes.

Readings: 
Stephen Nowicki: McDougal Littel's Biology, Berdell R. Furke & Christine L. Case & Tortora, 2003: Microbiology, Lansing M Prescott, John P Harley, Donald A Klein, McGraw-Hill 2004: Microbiology
sciencedaily.com,nytimes.com,newscientist.com,bbc.com,classzone.com,cnn.com
Media Used: 
Computers for internet access and Microsoft Word and Excel
Significant Assignments: 

Series of lab assignments
Gram Staining- Practice staining bacteria cells to determine morphology
Aseptic Techniques- Practice using sterilization techniques to culture bacteria

Research: 

Research required to answer the questions: Are Protists helpful or harmful?
Are fungi helpful or harmful?
Are bacteria helpful or harmful?

Sample PBATs: 
Part I: Where in the school do you find the most microbes? What factors contribute to the hotspot?
Part II: Does manipulation of one contributing factor eliminate bacterial growth in the hotspot?