Tagging a Microbe

This Tagging a Microbe activity & project also includes:

Tagging animals, such as elk, is useful for studying their behavior and movements. But, how do you tag bacteria? Biology scholars discover the tiny tags used to collect information about seafloor microbes in a hands-on lab. Groups create their own bacterial models and tags based on RNA base pairing.

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Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Discuss other uses of tagging, such as the markers used in cancer location and treatment
  • Show images of the bacteria discovered by the microbiologists on the expedition
Classroom Considerations
  • Create enough Lego sets to accommodate pairs or trios of students
  • Keep explanations simple for younger learners; too many technical details could make the activity frustrating
  • Legos make a very tough concept very fun
  • Pupils get to model their way through learning RNA structure and base pairing
  • Materials requirements are very organized and detailed in the teacher's guide
  • None