My past experience of working with microbiology is small and the schools I have worked in, have generally kept away from using them.

So when a student wished to base her extended essay on the manipulation of bacteria from three regions of her skin, and to culture at 37C; alarm bells began to ring and I began to perspire

Via my membership with the Association of Science Education (ASE), I came across the following link from the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee. This provided me with the clear guidelines I needed, to respond to questions from my student. [There will be no incubating at 37C.]

Other documents at the site include guidance on suitable and unsuitable micro-organisms to use, and  risk assessment guidelines.

I then thought I would like to see what practical activities they provided and I was taken to this excellent website.

There is a teachers and students tab and so as I am a teacher… There are some excellent resources that provide a range of activities to carry out, practical advice, a safety booklet to download and classroom activities.

So my online journey has taken me from ignorance to knowledge and a plethora of resources, from which to plan for next year and the possible inclusion of microbial work into the classroom.

And finally: take a look at the excellent BBC documentary “Seven Wonders of the Microbe World”. Excellent viewing for your students.