|Scharfenberg, F-J; Marquardt, A-K: Agar plates made from common supermarket substances and Bacillus subtilis natto as an inexpensive approach in microbiology education., Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 16(2), 292-294 (2015) [Link]
To address the possible limitations that financial restrictions may have on students’ independent experimentation at school, we developed and implemented an inexpensive approach for basic microbiology education. We describe four nutrient agars consisting only of everyday substances available from the supermarket or online that we developed to replace standard agars and specific agars. Additionally, we selected Bacillus subtilis natto as an example of a pure-culture species. Our tip first reports the four supermarket-substance agar variants; second, it suggests utilizing them to introduce basic microbiological techniques; and third, it introduces B. subtilis natto in the context of the antibacterial effects of antibiotics as well as of supermarket products which students can bring to class from home. We implemented our approach in microbiology education at school as well as in pre-service teacher education and in in-service teacher professional development courses at our university. Finally, our paper provides worksheets for all the experiments.