Microbial Pie, or What Did You Feed the Neighbors?
Lake Superior College
The Emergency Room seems busier than usual, and the cases coming in are all too similar. Everyone seems to be suffering from the same symptoms - abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Once the hospital staff identify the bacteria causing the problems, the next step is tracking down the source. This case uses a story of microbial contamination, combined with lab experiments, to teach skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and experimental design and analysis. It was developed for a general microbiology course primarily composed of health care students and biology majors planning to transfer to four-year schools. There are three labs associated with this case.
- Develop critical thinking skills.
- Practice a team approach to problem solving.
- Demonstrate how microbiology influences even the most trivial things we do.
- Recognize the possible sources of contamination and control methods for dealing with microbes.
- Understand why epidemiology is important.
- Explore the environmental pressures that encourage the formation of resistant populations of microbes in a real-life setting.
- Work with experimental design and analysis.
- Have fun with microbiology.
KeywordsE. coli; Escherichia coli; microbes; bacteria; antibiotic-resistant bacteria; food contamination; food poisoning; experimental design
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type MethodsLaboratory, Student Presentations
Subject HeadingsMicrobiology | Biology (General) | Science (General) | Epidemiology | Public Health |