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The MicroSafari: A Journey into Microbiology, an Expedition into Engagement

    Authors: Catherine Eva Vrentas1,*, Thomas Zinnen1, Dana J. Huebert Lima1
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    Affiliations: 1: The University of Wisconsin-Madison Biotechnology Center, Madison, WI 53706
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 19 May 2011
    • For those interested in an example of the opening presentation for the Microbial Safari, a copy of a sample presentation used in previous years is available from the authors; simply contact us by email at cevrentas@gmail.com.
      Images of costumes, station, and design from previous MicroSafaris can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58750299@N08/5384620611.
      As described in “A Field Guide to Bacteria,” geosmin is the characteristic volatile/odoriforous (“earthy”) component of soil, produced by species.
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: National Animal Disease Center, Virus and Prion Unit, P. O. Box 70, Ames, IA 50010. Phone: (814)-883-8581. E-mail: cevrentas@gmail.com.
    • Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 61-63. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.265
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    Abstract:

    In the area of hands-on science with the public, microbiology poses particular challenges in offering activities that are safe and cheap, as well as intriguing and engaging. We developed MicroSafari as part of our work with the UW–Madison Biology Outreach Club (BOC), an all-volunteer organization of biology graduate students. During the period 2005–2009, we led over a dozen MicroSafaris at venues on campus and in communities, for groups of families and youth, with group size ranging from 30 to 100. The MicroSafari is a hands-on version of Dyer’s Field Guide, using theater-based elements to share examples of these macroscopic characteristics of microscopic organisms.

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References & Citations

1. Brubaker DC, Ostroff JH 2000 Life, learning, and community: concepts and models for service learning in biology 1st ed American Association for Higher Education Washington, DC
2. Dyer BD 2003 A field guide to bacteria 1st ed Cornell University Press Ithaca, NY
3. Kmetz D, Will T 2001 The best of Wisconsin stories [videocassette] Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Historical Society Madison, WI
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.265
2011-05-19
2017-09-26

Abstract:

In the area of hands-on science with the public, microbiology poses particular challenges in offering activities that are safe and cheap, as well as intriguing and engaging. We developed MicroSafari as part of our work with the UW–Madison Biology Outreach Club (BOC), an all-volunteer organization of biology graduate students. During the period 2005–2009, we led over a dozen MicroSafaris at venues on campus and in communities, for groups of families and youth, with group size ranging from 30 to 100. The MicroSafari is a hands-on version of Dyer’s Field Guide, using theater-based elements to share examples of these macroscopic characteristics of microscopic organisms.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE I

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FIGURE I

Presenters engaged in sharing Exploration Destinations.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 61-63. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.265
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Opening presentation of the MicroSafari.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 61-63. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.265
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Presenters engaged in sharing Exploration Destinations: Chez Bacteria.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 61-63. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.265
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