Microbiology Fall 2012 Class Collaborative Project



4 hours lab/week – Two days per week

Course Description

The course, Fundamentals of Microbiology, has a lecture and laboratory component. The lecture focuses on the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, interaction between the microbe and the host, and human diseases. Laboratory sessions focus on pure culture techniques, methods of staining and the microscopic, colonial and biochemical identification of saprophytic organisms.

Overall Class Learning Outcomes

(1)  Use analytical and critical thinking skills to approach a research project.

(2) Develop basic microbiology laboratory techniques.

(3) Differentiate the various types of test used in identifying and classifying pathogenic microorganisms.

(4) Use the scientific method to gather,  analyze, interpret and present field base research project

Fall 2012 Class Project

Project Title:     Bacterial Contaminants in Brooklyn Waterfront

Project description

Students will use laboratory skills and knowledge to collect, analyze and interpret data.  They will use Brooklyn waterfront (location to be decided) to collect water samples. Samples will be analyzed using microbial techniques learnt in lab during the semester. This is a semester long class project. The class will be divided into randomly selected groups. Each group will be responsible for collecting samples from one location along the Brooklyn waterfront area. The class will first discuss and decide which of the 5 – 6 groups will sample designated area. Each group will subsequently collect samples, two each, and during the course of the semester run various test in concurrent with lab activities. The following tests will be done by each group;

  1. Inoculating in broth
  2. Gram staining
  3. Negative stain
  4. Streak plate for isolating pure culture
  5. Inoculate on selective and differential media (MacConkey, PEA, blood agar, mannitol salt agar)
  6. Inoculate starch agar, lipid and or DNA agar and gelatin deeps,
  7. Urease, catalase, oxidase and nitrate reduction.
  8. IMViC, SIM, Enterotube II or API system.
  9. Oxygen requirement of growing microbes using oxidative/fermentative tubes or thioglycollate media.
  10. Prepare antibiogram to test for antibiotic sensitivity.

Towards the conclusion of the semester, students will write a lab report and give a short presentation of their analysis.

Project Learning Outcomes

–  Work in groups to accomplish a task

– Use microbial techniques learnt through the semester to analyze samples collected from the Brooklyn Waterfront.

– Gather, interpret, evaluate, and apply information collected from variety of sources.

– Write a lab report on a semester-long activity.

General Education Learning Goals

Pursue disciplined, inquiry-based learning in Microbiology

Use the arts, sciences and humanities as a forum for the study of the physical world.

Employ scientific reasoning and logical thinking

Gather, interpret, evaluate and apply information discerningly from a variety of sources.

Communicate in diverse settings and groups using written, oral and visual means


Students will be assessed on the following;

  • Draft of final lab report – group activity- use GenEd writing rubric or other rubric
  • Final lab report – group activity – use GenEd writing rubric or other rubric
  • Final presentation – group activity – use GenEd writing rubric or other rubric
  • Group members will assess each other in terms of cooperativeness, reliability, general team skills, and effort.

Schedule of Activities.

Week 1

  • Students will be placed into groups
  • Collect samples from selected locations.
  • Inoculate into broth

Week 2

Perform Gram staining

Week 3

  • Perform negative staining
  • Perform acid-fast staining

Week 4 – 5

  • Prepare and isolate pure culture
  • Inoculate differential and selective media

Week 6

  • Analyze for extracellular activities using DNA, starch and gelatin media
  • Analyze for carbohydrate fermentation using phenol red broths and TSI media

Week 7

  • Perform IMViC test, and inoculate on SIM media
  • Inoculate Eenterotube II systems
  • Perform urease, catalase, oxidase and nitrate reduction test


Week 8 – 10

  • Perform an antibiogram
  • Begin the writing process


Week 11

  • Outline of group’s lab report due

Week 12

  • Rough draft due

Week 14

  • Final paper due

Week 15

  • Oral presentation

3 thoughts on “Microbiology Fall 2012 Class Collaborative Project

  1. Great work, the detail you provide will allow for the students to have a clear understanding of what is expected of the. Would you consider incorporating the use of OpenLab in anyway? Maybe they can use the DOCS to collaborate on their projects?

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