Bacteria are one-celled organisms that can only be seen under a microscope. There are thousands of kinds of bacteria, and they are found everywhere – in the air, in the depths of the ocean, in the human body and on human skin. Under favorable conditions, bacteria can multiply rapidly and form colonies (millions of bacterial cells grouped together) that can be observed with the naked eye. In this activity, students will formulate a hypothesis about which area of skin on their bodies may have the most or least amount or kinds of bacteria.
In this lesson, students will be amateur mycologists–collecting and analyzing various mushrooms. Through observation and discussion, students will gain knowledge of the basic anatomy of mushrooms, their life cycle, and their method of reproduction through spores. Students will learn to create spore prints of mushrooms and label and preserve their spore prints, just like a mycologist. Students also will learn that by comparing spore prints, they can identify different mushroom species.
In this segment, Ira talks with primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall about her work in studying chimpanzees, preserving habitats, and what lies ahead for the field of evolutionary science.