"Be A Microbiologist"
Thank you for participating in the activities at our booth! We enjoyed interacting with your family and sharing interesting facts about the microbial world in, on and around us.
If your child participated in the "Discover your skin bacteria" activity, you can find the results below. Using a cotton swab, your child transferred bacteria from the palm of their hand to a microbiological plate containing a nutrient gel. Many bacteria and fungi we come in contact with prefer to grow at body temperature, so we incubated the plates at 37°C (98.6°F) in our lab at the University of Delaware. Pictures of the plates were taken after two days of incubation.
Click here for your results
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What Is a Bacterial Colony?
Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are small single-celled organisms that can only be observed with a microscope. We can grow bacteria by spreading them onto the surface of the nutrient-rich agar gel contained in microbiological plates. When a bacterium consumes these nutrients, it grows and divides. In just a couple of days, a single bacterium can multiply into billions of cells that gather on top of one another. This pile up of cells is called a colony, and is visible with the naked eye. The form and structure of the colony varies among different species of bacteria and is one of the initial clues in identifying bacterial cultures.