It’s universally accepted that germs cause infectious disease, but that hasn’t always been the case.  For thousands of years, people lacked a basic understanding of what causes disease because they were unaware of the microscopic life living all around them.  The invention of the microscope ushered in the study of microorganisms known as microbiology. Today, not only are we aware that some microbes cause disease, but we also have learned how to use microorganisms to make food, as tools in scientific research, in industry, and in the development of new medicines.

The goal of this course is to expose students to the fascinating world of microbiology. Students will learn about the different types of microorganisms collectively known as “germs”.  They will learn what characteristics define viruses, prokaryotes (including bacteria), fungi, algae, and protozoa. They will learn not only how microorganisms cause disease, but also the many benefits they provide the planet.  Students will learn how the Germ Theory of Disease came to be accepted and about the scientists who challenged the current models of their day which led to the theory’s acceptance. They will learn the different ways that germs cause disease and how the human body is designed to fight infection. Directions for many optional hands-on labs are included. Some (such as Gram staining) require special supplies available commercially (from vendors such as Home Science Tools or Amazon). Whenever possible, instructions are given for activities that can be done with materials found around the home or at the grocery store.  Periodic quizzes will ensure students’ understanding before moving forward.

To learn more about the material taught in this course, you can find the Scope and Sequence here.

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1 thought on “Microbiology”

  1. This course provided so many resources to help me understand the content! The visuals were fascinating (and a little gross to think that we live with so many of these microorganisms!). I will look at a simple cold the same way again! I highly recommend this course!

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