All About Bacteria self-paced online course

All About Bacteria (Prokaryotes)

All living things are made up of cells.

Despite the incredible diversity of living things on the planet, the cells that make up every creature can be narrowed down into just two basic types: eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells.

If I were to ask you to think of any living organism, chances are the organism you’d think of would be made up of eukaryotic cells.  

Why?

Because humans, plants, animals, protozoa, fungi, and algae all have eukaryotic cells. Only two groups of organisms on the planet–the Bacteria and the Archaea—have prokaryotic cells.  

So many things you may associate with cells—including a nucleus and mitochondria—are absent from prokaryotic cells. In contrast, prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus or any membrane-bound organelles.  

While it’s true that prokaryotic cells lack many of the features found in the more complex eukaryotic cells, they are by no means simple, as we will soon see.

In this course, students will learn:

  • the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • the 4 things that ALL cells have in common
  • the features of prokaryotic cell walls and their roles in bacterial growth and infections
  • how scientists use the Gram Stain procedure to identify bacteria
  • how bacterial flagella are organized and their role in bacterial motility
  • the process of bacterial reproduction (binary fission) and the amazing rate at which bacteria can grow
  • the many benefits bacteria and other prokaryotes provide the planet
  • diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria (and the virulence factors that help the germs evade the host’s defenses)
  • how antibiotics work (and why when it comes to antibiotics, one size doesn’t fit all)
  • the ways in which bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics and why antibiotic-resistant superbugs are such a problem

As with all Kristin Moon Science courses, students proceed at their own pace through the material.  Videos, simulations, hands-on activities, and links to additional information are included to enhance the learning experience.  Directions for optional lab activities are included.

Before this course, I had only a passing knowledge of bacteria even though they are a part of our everyday life. This course provided so much information and reinforced it with great visual and hands-on activities. I now have a much greater understanding of the role of these organisms in our lives and how we interact with them.

-Stacy A

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 “All About Bacteria (Prokaryotes)”

  1. Before this course, I had only a passing knowledge of bacteria even though they are a part of our everyday life. This course provided so much information and reinforced it with great visual and hands-on activities. I now have a much greater understanding of the role of these organisms in our lives and how we interact with them.

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