Most people breathe in Aspergillus fungal spores every day without being affected. However, the fungus can cause disease in people with lung diseases or weakened immune systems.
Courtesy of the CDC/15145.
The Science of Microbes and The Science of HIV/AIDS units are designed to help your students understand microbiology and microbes, the tools needed to study and understand them, and the critical ways that microbes impact life on Earth.
The links on this page provide access to complete teacher guides or individual activities (PDF), teaching slide sets, demonstration videos with slides, and other content to enhance your instruction related to microbiology, including science articles from the journal, Nature.
MicroMatters was developed in partnership with the Baylor-UT Houston Center for AIDS Research. These resources have been funded, in part, by the Science Education Partnership Program, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health. They are free for download and use in your classroom.
The Science of Microbes Teacher's Guide
Students explore microbes that impact our health (e.g., bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses), and learn that microbes play key roles in the lives of humans, sometimes causing disease. (12 activities)
The Science of Microbes Classroom Slides
Students explore microbes related to health (bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses), learn that microbes play key roles in the lives of humans, and discover that some cause diseases.
The Science HIV/AIDS Teacher's Guide
Students read essays, conduct activities, and use actual data from the CDC and other sources to learn about HIV/AIDS and the spread of disease. (5 activities, 5 essays)
The Science of HIV/AIDS Classroom Slides
This slide set is designed for use with activities found in The Science of HIV/AIDS Teacher's Guide.
Students take a pre-assessment to determine what they already know about microbes. They also estimate the mass of microbes in the human body and begin building group concept maps.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Tools of Magnification
Students explore magnification using water drops and hand lenses, and learn about the light microscope.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Magnifying and Observing Cells
Students make slides of cells from an onion skin and an Elodea leaf to observe under a microscope, and learn that all organisms are composed of cells.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Observing Different Microbes
Students use a light microscope to examine three different microbes: bacteria in yogurt, Baker's yeast, and paramecia in pond water.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
The Variety and Roles of Microbes
Students use sets of cards to categorize microbes' roles and uses, and learn that some microbes can share characteristics with more than one group.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Comparing Sizes of Microorganisms
Students create scale models of microorganisms, compare their relative sizes, and discover that microbes come in many different sizes and shapes.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Milestones in Microbiology
Students read about six milestones in the history of microbiology, create a timeline of events, and learn that many scientific advances become possible only after appropriate tools and techniques have been developed.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Microbes are Everywhere
Students grow, observe and compare bacteria and/or fungi in petri dishes, learning that microbes are everywhere and can grow rapidly on sources of food and water.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Defending Against Microbes
Students investigate the human immune system and solve a crossword puzzle featuring vocabulary related to the immune system and microbes.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Infectious Disease Case Study
Students use evidence to determine whether a patient has a cold, flu or strep infection, and they also learn the differences between bacterial and viral infections.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Microbes and Disease
Students investigate a sample of microbes and the diseases associated with them, learn how diseases are transmitted and impact society, and create art projects representing the diseases they have studied.View this lesson Download PDF Video Digital Slide Set
Modeling an HIV Particle
Students read an essay about the emergence of HIV/AIDS, and learn about the basic structure of the virus by making three-dimensional paper models of an HIV particle.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Making Copies of an HIV Particle
Students read an essay about HIV viral replication, learn the parts of a single HIV particle, and investigate the HIV replication cycle in a host cell.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Calculating Exponential Growth
Students read an essay about the rapid spread of HIV particles in the body, and learn how to calculate exponential growth using pennies to model HIV particles.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Mapping the Spread of HIV/AIDS
Students read an essay about how scientists first tracked HIV/AIDS, then play the role of epidemiologist as they use actual data to map the spread of the disease worldwide.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Extend your microbiology lessons with topical books and magazines for students.
The Index Elephant
In this storybook, young students track a mysterious illness that is killing baby elephants. They learn how doctors and scientists identified the pathogen, found a treatment and are working to make a vaccine.
X-Times Magazine, Vol. 1
Student mini-magazine focusing on microbes, with a special report, "HIV-AIDS: The Virus and the Epidemic."
X-Times Magazine, Vol. 2
Student magazine focusing on healthcare professionals. Interviews include a surgeon, medical illustrator, environmental safety specialist, epidemiologist and more.
BioEd Online is pleased to provide current biology and life sciences news stories from Nature News, the science syndication arm of the premier international science publisher, the Nature Publishing Group.
For articles on a variety of topics, visit BioEd Online's Nature News library.
Explore BioEd Online’s library of videos and peer-reviewed, annotated slides. All are free for classroom use.
Saving Baby Elephants from a Lethal Virus (EEHV)
Paul D. Ling, Ph.D., a microbiologist at Baylor College of Medicine, is a leading global expert on Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), a disease that is killing baby Asian elephants. Join him as he discusses the virus, key discoveries, and a treatment protocol developed by his research team which keeps the elephants alive.
Avian influenza (bird flu, H5N1) is a variant of influenza “A” virus that usually does not infect humans. Thus, most humans have no pre-existing immunity.Video Digital Slide Set
Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza type A, B, and C viruses. Approximately 200,000 persons are hospitalized in the US each year due to flu.Video Digital Slide Set
Christine Herrmann, PhD, discusses the history of disease research, the infectious agents that cause disease and how they are transmitted.Video Digital Slide Set
Introduction to Viruses
Viruses are submicroscopic particles that can be seen only with a powerful microscope. They are not cells, but consist of genetic material, enclosed in a protective layer of protein.Video Digital Slide Set
Mad Cow Disease
Mad Cow Disease (BSE) is an illness that attacks the brain and spinal cord in adult cattle. The name comes from the strange behavior and symptoms seen in cattle that have the disease.Video Digital Slide Set
STDs and Teens
Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, pass from one person to another, primarily through sexual contact, and can be caused by bacterial, parasitic or viral infection.Video Digital Slide Set
Using Bright Field Light Microscope
Learn the steps required to view a specimen in a bright field light microscope, including proper slide mounting, adjusting the condenser and oculars, finding a target, increasing magnification, and more.Video Digital Slide Set
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that has developed resistance to an entire class of antibiotics and often is resistant even to antiseptics and disinfectants.Video Digital Slide Set
Viruses have always lived among humans, and they killed many millions of people. As scientists discover the chemical rules by which each virus plays, they can begin to control how a virus affects us.
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