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Microbial Magic for Middle School Teachers


Participants will learn basic scientific concepts and techniques in biotechnology, as well as how to teach these effectively, integrating them with genetics and microbiology topics relevant to the middle school classroom and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The actities in this workshop are designed to have minimal preparation for the teacher, to be inexpensive, and to grab the attention of your students!


Participants will be exposed to an array of topics related to both fundamental science and application of DNA-related aspects of biotechnology, including the following topics:

• DNA structure and replication

• Introduction to gene expression and regulation

• Protein structure and its relation to function

• Mutations

• Mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics and antibacterial agents

• Food microbiology

• Genetically modified organisms


Additionally, teachers will have hands-on training in the following practical applications:

• Growing, storing, and disposing of bacterial cultures in the lab

• Laboratory biosafety issues

• Making media needed for classroom experiments

• Sterile technique

• Classroom preparation for wet labs


Examples of some of the activities planned for this workshop include:

• Classroom epidemics

• Testing the effectiveness of antibacterial products

• DNA extractions in 15 minutes or less

• Testing food microbiology myths

• The role of enzymes in cheese production

• The genetics of tooth decay susceptibility

Microbial Magic Graduates - Class of 2009