STEAM Lab: Microbiology
Sept. 14, 2022 - May 31, 2023
Wednesday's 1:00-3:00 pm
Full year program $1595
Individual 6-week session $319
In the STEAM Lab Microbiology program, we will explore the role of microorganisms in our world and learn about the practical applications to several career fields. This course is ideal for students who are ready for more complex science experiments and lab activities. Each class will be entirely hands-on and inquiry-based, not just a list of recipes to follow! Student’s will be
encouraged to design their own experiments and solve problems with creativity and critical thinking. Art projects will be integrated into several lessons to encourage creativity and
innovation as well as solidify and expand upon scientific concepts.
During each session, we will be working with professional lab grade materials while learning techniques such as microscopy, pipetting, solution preparation, dilutions, and aseptic
techniques. Special attention will be given to the discussion of career options and paths for each specialized topic that we cover. The full STEAM Lab: Microbiology program will provide a comprehensive microbiology lab similar in scope to college level lab course. However, each 6-week session can stand alone and students are welcome to join for any topics of interests.
Unit 1: Environmental Microbiology
In this session, students will learn both field and lab biology techniques as we collect and process samples to answer student research questions. We will measure environmental quality parameters, learn isolation and microscopy techniques for observing both aquatic and terrestrial macroinvertebrates, culture benthic microbes to learn about microbial ecology, and set up a bioremediation experiment.
Unit 2: Cell Culturing
Cell culturing is the process of growing cells under controlled conditions and is an essential skill used in microbiology labs. In this session, we will learn how to aseptically prepare a variety of growth media, practice plating and inoculation techniques, set-up experiments with differential media and antibiotic resistance, culture bioluminescent dinoflagellates, and culture anaerobic microorganisms.
Unit 3: Food Microbiology
In this session, we will focus on the application of microbiology to food production, safety, and spoilage. We will learn about the role of fermentation in food production, probiotic production, microbial polymers, food safety, and what happens when we get food poisoning.
Unit 4: Clinical & Diagnostic Microbiology
In this session, students will practice techniques used in human and veterinary medicine to isolate and diagnose infectious conditions. We will learn about common parasites found in dogs and cats, antigen/antibody reactions in immunoassays, antibody titers and serial dilutions, culture patient samples, and test for susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics.
Unit 5: Biochemical Testing
Microorganisms have distinct molecular difference that can be used as a “thumbprint” for identification, such as gas production, enzyme activity, metabolic activity, growth substrate requirements, and fermentation parameters. In this session, students will become microbial detectives as we use a variety of biochemical tests to identify unknown species.