Getting a Home Bacteria Project Started

Suggestions to Help get Your Project Going Quickly

By Harold Eddleman, Ph. D.

This page, when completed, will outline a path you can follow to developing an outstanding bacteria science project which would surely win a top place in your science fair, or a years long hobby which would surely win you a science scholarship.


Don't fail to read the safety pages and discuss safety with your parents and teachers. The projects in this web site vary in risk. Some are totally safe because you eat these bacteria everyday, but you do have to handle them carefully so that they do not become contaminated with disease producing organisms (pathogens). The best rule of safety is read widely so you are likely to spot danger early.

If you choose to work with common organisms which are used in making food, materials will be available in the home and safety concerns will be greatly reduced. The bacteria which are used to produce butter, cheese, and dairy products or the yeasts and bacteria used to produce bread are good choices for the beginner.

Scan The Sections to get an Introduction to this Site

Pages B001 to B019

These pages will give you an overall view of what bacteria are and how they fit into the web of living things. If you like science, you will find some of these pages very interesting. You will learn much to make you study of later pages more understandable.

B020 - B039 Starting your Home Microbiology Lab

This is a series of Experiments. If you wish you can develop one or more of the pages into a nice science project. Instead of buying a science kit, you use these pages to develop your own home science lab. In the first experiment, you can try growing bread yeast on various carbohydates. The main method for identification of bacteria and yeasts is to determine which carbohydrates they can use for food.

B030 - B059 Standard Methods used in Microbiology

Some of these experiments require some purchases such as agar, tryptone, phenol red, petri plates, sugars, ferrous sulfate,

B060 - Experiments: Effect of environmental factors on the growth of bacteria

B090 - The classification of Bacteria: main groups, families, genera, archeobacteria

B100 - Food Bacteriology: Experiments with the bacteria you eat every day

B200 - Isolation and study of bacteria from nature with descriptions of family, genus, species

B800 - Medical bacteriology; move pathogenic discussions here - not ready (incomplete)

B900 - Bacterial genetics

There is no need to go out and buy lots of equipment. Begin with Home Micro Lab by making media from common kitchen foods and isolate some bacteria.

Can lids, or flat bottles can replace glass petri plates. Bottles can serve as culture tubes, or your teacher may loan you culture tubes and supplies. If not try a hospital, they throw away lots of items you can use and if autoclaved they are perfectly safe. Before you trouble a hospital for gifts, do a few week's work at home and prove that you are really interested and planning to work hard.

First installed January 1998      Revision #5 1998 Feb 3
Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164
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