In this exercise, students examine the impact of microorganisms in our daily life and consider their applied potential. Students choose one common consumer product from the discovery box and research its connection to microorganisms. Students then present their findings to the class.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students will be able to do the following:
  1. Explain ways that microbes contribute to making common consumer products.
  2. Give examples of microbes that are not associated with human disease.

Student Background

It is helpful (but not required) if students have some basic knowledge about the characteristics and differences among the main groups of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. 

Science Standards

This lesson addresses National Science Education Standards (1996):
  • Science as Inquiry – Communicate Scientific Procedures and Explanations
  • Life Science – Diversity and Adaptations of Organisms