Bad Bugs vs. Good Bugs: Make a Microbe!

Our popular hands on activity gives participants the chance to see bacteria grown from everyday items and to make their own petri dish filled with crafted bacteria! Participants get to talk to researchers and learn about bacteria, including the disease causing bacteria that we work on at the institute, and how we are working to combat them.

Part 1: How ‘dirty’ are everyday objects?
Participants are invited to handle large petri dishes to get a close look at bacteria that can be grown from everyday items and our bodies, whilst learning about the difference between natural flora (‘good’) and pathogenic (‘bad’) bacteria. Researchers also discuss their own research into infectious diseases caused by bacteria, and will balance this information with discussion on how certain bacteria are essential for our health.

Part 2: Make a microbe craft activity
participants have the chance to fill their own petri dish with 'good or bad bacteria' using a range of craft materials. Finished dishes are taped up so that participants can keep and take home their works of bacterial art without them escaping! The activity inspires a creative approach to understanding how varied bacterial species are.

Fancy 'Borrowing a Microbiologist' to run the activity in your classroom....? Please contact our public engagement co-ordinator and we'll see if we can dig one out!

Example crafted bacteria at bluedot festival