Microbe Murder Mystery Lab Activity

Microbe Murder Mystery Lab Activity


Assume the Role of a Microbiologist to Investigate a Mysterious Drowning

A city councilman is found facedown in his swimming pool and your students are being asked to examine the forensic evidence to determine if the drowning was accidental or if there is foul play involved. They will check for protists in the water sample from his lungs and then compare that sample to samples from three other nearby bodies of water. During the exercise, students will develop skills in microscopy, protist identification, record keeping, and the use of a dichotomous key. The kit comes with enough materials for eight setups, a teacher’s guide, and student copymaster. Compound microscopes, required, are available separately. Note: Includes perishable materials, please specify delivery date.

Materials Included
•1 Set of six evidence samples: Site A: White River, Site B: Prairie Creek Reservoir, Site C: Duck Pond, Site D: Victim’s Swimming Pool, Victim, Victim’s Bone Marrow Extract;
•1 Culture Euglena
•1 Culture Synedra
•1 Culture Micrasterias
•72 Microscope slides
•100 Microscope slide coverslips
•45 Pipets

Materials Needed But Not Provided
•Compound microscopes

Time Requirement
•Crime scene background; group roles and responsibilities: 30 minutes
•Preparing wet mounts; making observations: 60 minutes
•Completing evidence table; answering questions: 30 minutes
•Preparing and presenting final report: 60 minutes

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