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.