Swabbing the School (Irchester)

Collage (1) We swabbed different parts of the school searching for bacteria. To do this we had to make agar gel.The way this works is the bacteria feeds on the glucose in the nutrient agar which makes them grow into a colony very fast. Even though we can’t see microorganisms, colonies of them are visible. Then we can use graph paper to roughly calculate what % of the agar is covered with microbial colonies.
We made agar gel by mixing 4g of agar powder with 200mls of water. After we mixed the solution we heated it up on a Bunsen burner, we waited until it boiled then we had to quickly remove it from the flame before it frothed over. We left the solution for about 10 minutes to cool down. After the liquid cooled down we had to quickly pour it into several petri dishes where it would set.
The next day we swabbed different parts of the school to see how much bacteria on it there was. We took samples from the keypad at the door, the office phone, the PE mats, the tap, the water fountain, Mr Lett’s pen, a Year3 door handle and our own fingerprints. The, we left the agar plates in a cool dry place for 6days. When we checked again we were astounded at our results. Just as we had predicted there were a lot of different types of microorganisms around our school and even on our fingers! The colonies were lots of different colours, shapes and sizes showing us the range of microbes that are living around our school!

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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