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Microbial Pie, or What Did You Feed the Neighbors?


Author(s)

Theresa Hornstein
Biology Department
Lake Superior College
t.hornstein@lsc.edu

Abstract

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.


Objectives

  • 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.

Keywords

E. coli; Escherichia coli; microbes; bacteria; antibiotic-resistant bacteria; food contamination; food poisoning; experimental design

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Laboratory, Student Presentations

Language

English

Subject Headings

Microbiology  |   Biology (General)  |   Science (General)  |   Epidemiology  |   Public Health  |  


Date Posted

08/21/00

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