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LaMotte™ Soil Microbe Hunter™ Activities

Students apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to the exploration of microbes that they encounter every day.

Manufacturer:  LaMotte™ 5563

Catalog No. S43420

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  • Five expandable and adaptable activities
  • Digital Student Guide and Teacher Guide on CD
  • Free microbe identification app from iTunes store
  • STEM extension activities
    • Is There Such a Thing as Sterile Soil?
    • Investigating Soil Inoculants
    • Soil Crust Hunt



STEM-based activities guide students through the culturing and presumptive identification of common microbes on innovative BioPaddles™ - each containing microbe-specific media enclosed in a sterile vile. Activities develop critical thinking skills and emphasize engineering as a key component.

Students research the process of soil formation, soil characteristics, and the influence of environmental conditions on soil microbe populations.  Students assess and sample various soil ecosystems using the surface contact impression technique, dilution technique, root wash technique, and the Rossi-Cholodny buried slide conatct transfer technique.  Microbes are identified and enumerated to calculate microbial diversity.

Activities and topics:

  • Culture grocery store products and school surroundings
  • Effect of fertilizer on lawn microbe populations
  • Rhizosphere ecosystems
  • Biological soil crusts
  • Biopesticides


  • Organized for classroom use
  • Culture bacteria without Petri dishes - no prep time
  • Student teams design experiments
  • Step-by-step introductory to advanced activities
  • PowerPoint presentations for iPad, ID guides, resources, links, etc


Environmental education bacteria studies
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