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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:22 pm
Occupation: Parent of Student

Analyzing Bacteria Colony Growth

Postby TheJep » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:38 pm


My daughter is a 6th grader participating in the science fair this year. She decided to
do a bacteria growth project with samples coming from different places in the school
(front door, boys bathroom, girls bathroom, gym, band room, etc.) We purchased your
project kit and she has had some very cool colony growth.

We are at the point where she is doing the writeup. What are the best ways to interpret
the petri dish growths? We are having her count the number of growths, identify the
relative sizes of the growths, and the shape and colors of the growths. However, we
aren't sure how to turn this data into something that answers the "so-what" questions.

Can you help? We found your info on Form, Elevation, Margin, Surface, Chromogenesis, and
Opacity, and while she has done a good job identifying the morphology, we'l like her to take the final step and identify what the growths mean. She'd like to do more than just report the
news, She'd like to interpret the data and provide findings.

The title of the project is "Our School has Germs." We'd like to finish with what these
growths mean and we really are at a loss at this point. What they mean and any ideas for presentation of the information would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Former Expert
Posts: 932
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:24 am

Re: Analyzing Bacteria Colony Growth

Postby barretttomlinson » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:56 am


My best suggestion is to look at this Science Buddies resource and explore the references: ... ates.shtml

You may find these prior discussion threads helpful:


viewtopic.php?f=28&t=6510 ... =28&t=5785

You might also see whether you can borrow Bergey’s Manual of Determative Bacteriology through an interlibrary loan at your local library. To go much farther than you already have will require access to laboratory facilities and microscopes, and some mentoring help to learn the laboratory skills involved.

General information on Science Fair project presentation is available in the Science Buddies Project Guide: ... ndex.shtml

Pay extra attention to the pages under the Communicating Your Results heading.

Good luck with project!

Best regards,

Barrett L Tomlinson

Return to “Grades 6-8: Getting Ready for the Science Fair”