Meet the Microbes

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Meet the Microbes offers you 17 hands-on activities that correlate with and build on the themes and ideas presented in the PBS series, Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth. These activities provide a fun way for kids (and adults, too) to explore the wonders of the microbial world.

All the activities have been field-tested nationally with diverse community outreach audiences, including church groups, PTAs, Boy and Girl Scouts, 4-H groups, museums, and science centers.

The activities have been aligned with the National Science Education Standards (NSES) developed by the National Research Council and the New Standards™ Student Performance Standards developed by the National Center on Education and the Economy. Suggested modifications to address the needs of exceptional individuals are included with the activities.

Available in Adobe PDF format!
(You will need the Adobe Acrobat™ Reader v3.0 or higher to access these files. If needed, download the Acrobat Reader here.)

Meet the microbes contents
Introduction to Meet the Microbes
Alignment with the National Science Education Standards
Alignment with the New Standards Student Performance Standards

The Activities
Creepy Critters
Forever and a Day
Mega Multiples of Microbes
Natural Selection
Biosphere in a Bottle
Bread Box Nightmares
Can Microbes Tell the Difference?
Nature's Trash Compactors
Now You See It, Now You Don't
Caught Red-Handed
Defend Your Surface
Let's Get Small
The Yeast of Our Worries
Cabbage Today, Sauerkraut Soon
Fun With Fomites
Yeast on the Rise

Comments from educators

“I have seen how excited kids get about science when it is presented to them in a hands-on, ‘discovery-oriented’ format. Conversely, I’ve seen kids get totally turned off to science presented in a more ‘traditional’ manner.”
— Inge S. Eriks

“Everything is inexpensive, doable and hands-on for the students — and it’s cooperative learning.”
— Thomas P. Rooney

Meet the Microbes was developed by the National Association for Biology Teachers.