Microbiology Workshop Series
Ages 6-10 & 11-15
Workshop #1: Mycology: Molds, Yeasts, & Mushrooms
In this workshop, we will explore the diverse world of the Kingdom Fungi, which is so much more than just mushrooms! Students will learn about fungi classification and how mycology fits into the microbiology realm. We will observe yeast reproduction with microscopes and set up an experiment to observe the effects of environmental factors on microbial growth. Next, we will learn how to culture fungal molds on agar plates and how to differentiate their colonies from bacterial growths. Finally, we will explore mushroom fruiting bodies as we discuss their life cycle and identify anatomical structures through dissection.
Ages 6-10: October 11th, 5:00-6:30 pm
Ages 11-15: October 18th, 5:30-7:30 pm
Workshop #2: Laboratory Techniques & Bacterial Culturing
In this workshop, students will learn techniques needed to work with microbes in a laboratory. We will cover laboratory safety, aseptic techniques, media types & preparation, measuring & transferring media with pipettes & glassware, and using laboratory equipment (stir plates, centrifuge, vortex, incubator, autoclave, & more). Students will prepare and pour their own agar plates and set up an experiment on antibiotics and bacterial growth to take home for observation.
Ages 6-10: November 8th, 5:00-6:30 pm
Ages 11-15: November 15th, 5:30-7:30 pm
Workshop #3: Microscopy
In this workshop, students will learn about many types of microscopes, how they work, and how they are used in scientific research. We will cover slide preparation topics which include wet mounts, dry mounts, making smears, fixing, on-slide cell staining, and in-well cell staining. We will work with both flat and concave slides on compound microscopes and learn how to use stereo microscopes for viewing larger specimens in 3 dimensions. Each student will have their own compound microscope to work with for the entirety of class while an instructor demonstrates techniques through a video cast of microscopes fitted with cameras. We will finish our workshop by making a stereo magnifier to take home!
Ages 6-10: January 10th, 5:00-6:30 pm
Ages 11-15: January 17th, 5:30-7:30 pm
Workshop #4: Clinical Microbiology
In this workshop, we will learn about microbiology techniques that are commonly used in medical and veterinary clinical settings. We will learn about antibody and antigen interactions and how they can be used to develop assays for the detection of many different macromolecules. Students will be introduced to 96-well plates as they practice pipetting and set up a serial dilution and controls that would be used in an immunoassay. Students will learn about the ABO blood group system and work through a mock blood typing activity. We will observe prepared slides of parasites commonly observed in canids and felines while discussing parasite life cycles & transmission. Students will have the option to take home a urinalysis test kit, if desired.
Ages 6-10: February 7th, 5:00-6:30 pm
Ages 11-15: February 14th, 5:30-7:30 pm
Workshop #5: Bioluminescence
Come explore the microscopic world of bioluminescence! In this workshop we will learn about the different types of luminescence in animals, algae, bacteria, plants, & fungus. We will practice laboratory techniques as we measure reagents and prepare a chemical luminescent reaction. We will then learn how some animals achieve bioluminescence by selectively populating their microbiome with the luminescent bacteria, Vibrio fischeri. Students will work through an activity to better understand microbiome dynamics and then observe agar plates and prepared microscope slides of the bioluminescent bacteria. Finally, we will examine the bioluminescent dinoflagellate, Pyrocystis fusiformis, famous for creating glowing waves. Students will make their own P. fusiformis culture to take home while practicing aseptic and safe inoculation techniques
Ages 6-10: March 13th, 5:00-6:30 pm
Ages 11-15: March 20th, 5:30-7:30 pm