Biologist Challenge: Grow Bacteria
Biologists are fascinated by the processes of life in all its forms. We study microscopic cells, vast ecosystems, and everything in between. Our discoveries can lead to new medicines, new technologies, and new theories of the past and future. Harvest live bacteria and grow it in a petri dish. Bacteria are some of the smallest living things – but they’re everywhere! Some are harmless, some make us sick, and some we can’t live without.
To grow bacteria you need a disposable container that you can see through and with a tight seal. This is NOT an experiment where you can clean the container to re-use again. A Petri dish is the best possible container to grow bacteria in. You also need food for the bacteria to grow on. Agar (pronounced AWGER) is the best gel-like substance to put in your dish for your bacteria to grow. If you don’t have scientific Agar powder you can look up on the internet “How to make agar” create your own by using common ingredients from the grocery store.
Once you have your dish and your agar or bacteria food base you are ready to collect your sample. So ask yourself where would bacteria grow??? Think of places that people touch with their hands all the time but maybe never get cleaned… gross!!! Moisten the tip of a cotton swab (not wet but moist) and rub it over the area. Then gently rub it over your petri dish. Close up the sample, tape it shut and label it with where you got the sample. Throw away the cotton swab and wash your hands!
Now you wait… samples grow best in a warm, dry location out of direct sunlight – about 21+ degrees Celsius (or 70+ degree Fahrenheit). The bacteria will grow right away but takes about 7-14 days to get sufficiently disgusting.
NOTES FROM AIS DIY’ers:
DO NOT OPEN THE SAMPLES! While most bacteria is okay and not really dangerous it is still NOT a good idea to touch the millions of bacteria that we have grown in the samples. When you are done with the experiment you should throw them away – the best way is to pour bleach over the sample before putting it in the trash.
AIS DIY Experts: Zach (MC Beast), Kevin (MinecraftGuy244), Sam (Rabidyoman)