Students become excited about experimentation in microbiology when they can investigate matters that are relevant to their own lives. The examples of laboratory exercises on everyday issues in microbiology included here are appropriate for student-designed investigations. They can also be used as laboratory exercises with instructor-provided protocols. Either way, students work individually or in small groups to develop hypotheses and/or experimental approaches to answer questions about everyday issues. These labs help students attain and improve skills in the following areas: scientific reasoning, microbiological techniques, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, communication, interpersonal relations, and citizenry.