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Swab and Grow Bacteria Growth Science Experiment

Hurray! You’ve got the coolest parent or science teacher in town! They’ve snagged this super cool microbe science experiment kit for you. Get ready for a journey that’s as educational as it is exciting Presenting your Swab & Grow Microbe Kit Adventure. Let’s dive into the microscopic world!

In this kit, you’ll find:
• 10 Nutrient-rich Agar plates ready for the microbe party.
• 10 Sterile spore swabs, your magic wands to the micro-world.
• 10 Parafilm strips to seal the Petri dishes post the micro-invitation.

Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project Kit

You’ll need:
• Adventure spots with dirt, grime, and unseen tenants.
• Gloves (Your knight’s armour)
• Mask (Your knight’s helmet)
• Hand Sanitizer (Your magic potion)
• Permanent marker (Your sword)

The Nutrient Agar Plates: Crafted with agar and malt extract (a microbe’s favourite snack), but remember, it’s not a treat for you, so no licking! These Petri dishes are made in a sterile lab and sealed with Parafilm to keep them pure yet breathable for the micro-guests.


Storage: Keep the petri dishes in a clean, dry, dark place until you’re ready for the adventure. However, it’s best to start soon as some plates may invite unwanted guests over time. Toss the contaminated plates – do not open them.

MEA Agar Plates Pre poured 90mm outside sleeve with parafilm

Microbes Growing Steps

Before you begin, clean your hands with soap or hand sanitizer, wear gloves and a mask, and clean your working area. Do not start without your parent.

Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project-Cotton swap
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Cotton Swap 1

1. The Collection: Ready for some quirky fun? Collect samples by gently opening and rolling a clean cotton swab across adventurous spots like your mouth, keyboard, or doorknob. Unleash your inner Zorro with a classic zig-zag pattern on the agar, as seen in the diagram below!

Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Cotton Swap open
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project- Take Sample on phone
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - innoculation

Fun Fact: Your mouth is a bustling city of bacteria, even more crowded than a toilet seat!
Remember, a new sterile cotton swab is your ticket for each new sample. Do not press too hard with the cotton swab on the agar; it needs to be touched gently onto the surface of the agar in a zig-zag pattern. Throw the cotton swab in the bin after each use.

Remember, you MUST use a new sterile cotton swab for EACH sample.

2. Sealing the Invitation: Replace the cover on the petri dish and seal it with Parafilm (fold it in half lengthwise, hold one end to the dish, pull slightly, and take a roundabout). If your parafilm breaks, get a new piece or use a cling wrap from the kitchen.

Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Parafilm
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Sealing plate
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Sealing

To view a demonstration on wrapping parafilm on an agar dish, open YouTube, type “Mycology 101: How to use parafilm with Petri dishes” in the search bar, and click on the video titled “Mycology 101: How to use parafilm with Petri dishes” in the search results.

  1. Naming the Adventure: Label each dish with the sample source and date, e.g., “Dragon’s Lair (Toilet Seat), 27th Sept.”
  2. The Microbe Soiree: Place the dishes in a warm, dark spot like a wardrobe, away from sunlight or heat sources. Let the micro-guests dance undisturbed.
  3. Peek-a-Boo: In a few days, peek into their world. You’ll see colonies, maybe even smell them (that’s the wild party aftermath).
  4. The Observation Diary: Record the growing tales. Which spot had the wildest micro-party?
  5. Caution: Do NOT open the dish during the micro-fest.
  6. Farewell Ceremony: Once the party winds down, wrap the dishes in a plastic bag before bidding them goodbye in the bin.
  7. Reflect & Share: Did you enjoy this microscopic saga? Share your tales and feedback with us. We love hearing from young scientists!
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - labeling plate
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project _Z_
Agar petri dish MEA School Science Fun Project - Contaminated plate

Common Mistakes

Cross-contamination Alert! Using the same cotton swab in multiple spots is a no-go. For example, if you swab the TV remote, don’t head to the toilet seat with the same swab. Each swab is on a solo mission!

Pro Tips for a Successful Microbial Adventure

  1. Label each plate: Before embarking on your swabbing spree, label your cotton swabs and agar plates with the adventurous spots you have in mind to swab. Examples: Toilet Seat, Car Keys, TV Remote, Kitchen Sink, Bathroom Sink, Mouth Frontier, Keyboard, Doorknob, Gaming Console, and other commonly touched household treasures.
  2. Swabbing Spree: Put on your gloves and mask and embark on a swabbing spree around your kingdom. Swab all chosen spots at once, then place each swab back into its paper wrap. Ensure each swab is labeled correctly to the place you swabbed.
  3. Agar Connection: Now, unveil the agar plates and introduce each swab to its respective labelled agar plate. For example, the swab from the Toilet Seat only parties with the agar plate labelled ‘Toilet Seat’. Match them right for a successful microbe rendezvous!

With these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you’re on your way to conducting a fun and enlightening science experiment. Uncover the unseen microbial drama happening right under your nose or, perhaps, on your gaming console!

Post-Adventure Wisdom: Now that you’ve seen the unseen, remember a knight’s cleanliness is their shield against micro-dragons. So, keep washing those hands, and oh, no nibbling on your nails!
For more quests and queries, reach out to us at [email protected]. We’re here with open ears for all your feedback and suggestions.

Embark on this microbial adventure, and may your curiosity grow as wild as the microbes!

Owner of Rootlab

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