Extreme World of Microbes

*NEW* York County Extension 2022

Microbes: What are they? Where can they be found?


During this enrichment lesson, 4th-8th grade youth will be able to:


  • Identify characteristic differences between living and non-living things.
  • Experiment to determine which of 3 mystery samples contain a living organism.
  • Explore their environment to discover which surfaces contain the most bacteria.



This lesson will be completed in two different sessions. During the first session, the youth will learn about what microbes are and experiment to figure out which mystery sample contains a living organism.


The second visit will be divided into part A and part B. Youth will be given the chance to question their environment and ask, "Which surfaces around me contain a lot of living organisms?" We will talk about collecting samples prior to youth swabbing a specific surface and capturing their sample on a petri dish.* Part B will take place approximately 48 hours to 1 week later after the samples have been incubated.**


*Part A can happen at the end of Lesson 1, but lesson time will be extended to collect the sample.

**Part B can be a virtual option where pictures of the Petri dishes will be shared or in-person with the samples in the classroom.

Feel Free to Contact Us!

Tanya Crawford - Extension Educator: tanya.crawford@unl.edu

Amanda Hackenkamp - Extension Assistant: amanda.hackenkamp@unl.edu