Spicy Microbiology!

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Ages: 9-15
Cost: $25
Schedule: Thursdays, 10am-12pm, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9 and 11/16
Instructors: Ashley Cruz and Lauren Monroe


Join us in this pilot workshop that integrates the knowledge and skills of local MCPHS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) graduate students with Think Tank's hands-on laboratory learning model. Spicy Microbiology! is a 4 class workshop that will teach students techniques in preparing, culturing, and observing bacteria and fungus. Using five separate species, two fungus and three bacteria, students will spice up the study by testing how organisms grow on control nutrient agar and nutrient agar containing different spices. Learn about the unique and amazing metabolisms of these tiny organisms while also learning why spices have been used for centuries for their antimicrobial properties. Spices of focus will be: clove buds, black pepper and chilis. View instructors biographies here.

Lessons Include:

  • Sterilization Technique
  • Anatomy of Bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and Pesudomonas fluorescens) and Fungus (Penicillium notatum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae)
  • Petri Dish and Agar Preparation
  • Bacteria and Fungus Swabbing
  • Stereoscope and Microscope Observation
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Enzymes and Inhibitors
  • History of the use of spices to prevent food spoilage