Thursday, April 14, 2011

Growing Colonies Of The Fuzzy Kind

Petri Dishes

I thought it would be fun to share just what we're growing in the kitchen this week :) No it's not vegetable seedlings or easter grass.... think a little more creepy *grin*. We're raising our own colony of bacteria :)


We started with three petri dishes and to try and keep it as scientific as possible I got my oldest to boil and sterilize all of the dishes before we started so that we could keep as much extra bacteria out of the equation as possible.


As soon as our petri dishes were ready to go we filled them with agar or in our case gelatin since I didn't have actual agar :) We brought one cup of water to a boil, stirred in one teaspoon of sugar, one package of knox gelatin and a few drops of orange food coloring and simmered the whole thing for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes were up we portioned out the gelatin equally into each of the three petri dishes and waited for it to cool and set.


The next step was to decide just what we wanted to swab and transfer into our dishes. K had such a hard time picking since we could only use two dishes and he wanted to try so many different things :) So he settled for the kitchen sink and the telephone with our third dish as the control.

At each place he took a clean q-tip and swabbed it all over their surfaces and then he took it to one of the petri dishes and gently rubbed it over one quarter of the gelatin then turned the dish 90 degrees and rubbed it again over the quarter section making sure that he pulled some of his strokes through the edge of section he swabbed last until the entire dish was covered :)

Growing Bacteria Colonies

With each one carefully labeled...

Growing Bacteria Colonies

it was time to wait and see just what would happen!


We're five days into our experiment and things are growing and remember all that sterilizing we did in the beginning so that we would have a super clean control petri dish? Well that baby is growing some funky fuzz of its own! LOL.

If you grow some colonies of your own let me know. I know my son would love to see what grows in your petri dishes *grin*.


PS. Looking for more crafty ideas or inspiration? Pop over to Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday and see what others are up to :)


house full of jays said...

This is pretty cool! Although maybe a little freaky to discover how much is actually growing on the phone...
Have a great weekend, Rosina!

K said...

Exactly the kind of thing I did with my heathen brood. And my daughter - number two - turned out to be a scientist - teaching kids everything from agar to physics. You give your son the gift of seeing more deeply and wondering, the concept that there is more to the universe than most people ever imagine. Wonder. A gift of wonder. Prying into the secrets of the operating system. Fab.