Resources for K-12 Teachers


Rationale for Focus on
K-12 Education

In response to increasing concern in the scientific community about the inadequacies of science teaching in American schools, the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology began supporting projects that encourage the use of microorganisms to teach science in the K-12 classroom. Our principal goal was, and remains raising public understanding of science and demonstrating the importance that microorganisms play in our lives. These concerns lie behind the high priority assigned by the Foundation for over a decade to professional development workshops for K-12 teachers. Other related educational activities supported by the Foundation have included the development of loan trunks, CD's and websites and equipment donations

MIlwaukee School PhotoVirtually every type of American institution engaged in education or research has received grants in K-12 education from the Foundation: Universities; Research Institutes; Scientific Societies; Museums; Schools; Associations; Consortia and Fellowship Programs. Every successful project has provided teachers with background information and current understanding of microbial diversity and the importance of microbial processes in the biosphere and has incorporated the use of hands-on activities for students at elementary, middle, or high school level.

The Foundation has developed the following resources for teachers (Please note that rapid changes in the field make it impossible for the Foundation to guarantee the ongoing accuracy of these listings):

A. Video Resources
B. Hands-On Activities for Students
1. Table of Exercises
2. Institutional Sources for these Exercises
C. Additional Enrichment Programs for School Teachers
D. Teacher Programs at Marine Laboratories
E. Microbiology Related Resources for School Teachers
F. Agencies Promoting New Programs for School Teachers

Hands-On Activities for Students

Childrens School of Science

This database is a collection of field-tested hands-on microbiology laboratory exercises, developed by grantees of the Foundation, for use in high schools, middle schools or elementary schools. The Foundation believes that the excellence of the scientists and teachers who have cooperated to develop the various exercises presented here ensures their value in conveying both basic principles of scientific research and something about the microbial world. The exercises are certified for safety. (Complete information on safety can be found in Micro-Organisms for Education, by H. T. Ewald et al. at HYPERLINK "").

Soil testing Photo

Below are two means of accessing our collection of exercises. The first is a table that displays information about the nature and use of each of 84 hands-on exercises. The second is a list of institutional sources that can be consulted for additional information about most of these exercises.

1. Table of Exercises.In Table 1A are listed all of the exercises by Title, Source, URL, and Grade Level. Table 1B matches exercises to the National Science Standards.

2. Institutional Sources. Teachers seeking additional information for a particular exercise should refer to the following list of sources for contact information (The Foundation has included the most current information possible, but some website information and some contact individuals may have changed).