Biology

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Even though we cannot see it with just our eyes, very tiny bacteria and viruses are all over the Earth. Some bacteria even live inside our bodies! Some bacteria make us sick, while other bacteria are actually helpful to us. Luckily, both our bodies and scientists have developed ways to protect us from the bacteria that makes us sick.

The following activities will help you discover how bacteria grow, how we fight harmful bacteria, and even what bacteria looks like. We hope you enjoy these activities and do them together as a family.

Activities

Cell Culture is a technique used to grow and identify microorganisms that are found in our environment. Microorganisms are among the most abundant and diverse organisms on the planet, but they are so small that they cannot be seen!

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Do bacteria form "communities"? If you haven't brushed your teeth, you may have even noticed a slippery layer of bacteria in the form of a biofilm. In this activity you will discover, however, that biofilms do not grow equally on different surfaces.

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Do we need antibiotics every time we get sick? Antibiotics are a type of medication that your doctor can prescribe to you to make you better. But do antibiotics become less effective over time? In this activity, you can explore using beans!

Do you wash your hands well? Research says that many people say they wash their hands after using the bathroom but less actually do! This activity will help you see how well you actually wash your hands and why you should.

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How does our body cope with so many germs around us? Our body has developed a fantastic defense team called the immune system! In this activity, you can discover how our body uses the immune system to "remember" what has made us sick before!

What do germs look like? The scientific name for a germ that makes us sick is called a pathogen and different pathogens actually look very different! In this activity, you can make models of pathogens and share them with your friends.

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