One of the best ways to bring microbiology to life for students is to give them a glimpse at what this "invisible" microbial world looks like. Great images of microbes are available on the Web.
The American Society for Microbiology offers a growing collection of peer-reviewed visual resources, including still images, animations, and videos, on MicrobeLibrary.org. In addition, MicrobeLibrary contains links to several other websites offering microbial images and also offers curriculum resources, including inquiry-based classroom and laboratory activities. The Library's materials are available free of charge for educational purposes.
You can also find dramatic images of microbes on Dennis Kunkel's Electron Microscopy Gallery. Images on this site are available for use in education, but any use beyond looking at the images on the Web site does require prior written consent by Dr. Kunkel.
The American Society for Microbiology offers a number of useful resources and materials for science educators. Check out the education section of the ASM Web site. The ASM Board of Education offers programs and resources for students and faculty in the microbiological sciences.
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NEW! The American Society for Microbiology has created a new collection of 14 Microbial Discovery Activities for K-12 teachers that will help them incorporate microbiology within basic science curriculum. Activities, such as "Extracting DNA from a Banana," "Taste Test: Can Microbes Tell the Difference?" and "Build a Bacterium” Scavenger Hunt," come from the community at large. All submissions have been reviewed by the ASM Committee on K-12 Education for scientific and educational content, pedagogical (e.g. active learning) processes, alignment with the National Science Education Standards, and clarity and completeness of instructional materials and assessment plans. Please check out the full list of these new activities here.
Copies of A Million and One, a brochure about careers in microbiology designed for pre-college and undergraduate students, are available from the ASM Board of Education.
(A Spanish version is available as well.) To receive up to 25 free copies, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax your request to 202-942-9329. Be sure to include your mailing address with your request and indicate if you want the English or Spanish version.
The Waksman Foundation for Microbiology is a private, charitable organization that supports research and education in microbiology. Since 1995, it has supported projects that enhance schoolteachers' use of microorganisms to teach science in the K-12 classroom. The foundation's Web site includes an indexed database of field-tested activities for elementary, middle, and high school curricula.
The National Association for Biology Teachers (NABT) enables its more than 7,500 members to share experiences and expertise with colleagues from around the globe, keep up with trends and developments in the field, and grow professionally. NABT offers a number of resources, including:
A resource guide for high school biology teachers linking them to NABT members at the undergraduate teaching level.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is an organization committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's more than 53,000 members include science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. Offerings on NSTA's Web site include:
The NSTA Science Store, a one-stop shop for all kinds of science education materials; more than 300 products reviewed according to NSTA's high standards.
A list of educational events and competitions, regularly updated.
In partnership with US textbook publishers, NSTA has launched a new service called sciLINKS that links key passages in textbooks with content on the Internet selected and reviewed by NSTA teacher-Webwatchers.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers Science NetLinks, a library of reviewed websites and lessons geared toward K-12 science educators.
The New York Times Learning Network offers K-12 lesson plans that build on articles that appeared in the newspaper. Some of the lessons have focused on microbiology topics.
How did life originate and evolve on Earth? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) supports interdisciplinary research toward answers to these and other questions in astrobiology. NAI offers an Educator Guide for middle school teachers, and an Educational Poster for 9th grade. NAI also supports micro*scope, an online repository of microbial images, descriptions, classification schemes, and educational resources in microbiology. See NAI’s website for more resources in astrobiology.