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  • In this activity, students investigate microbial presence in soil by building a habitat suitable for their growth.

    Known as Winogradsky columns, mud, newspaper and eggs create a variety of habitats that promote the growth of soil bacteria and algae. With time, sulfur and oxygen gradients form and a diversity of microorganisms grow in response to these conditions, often forming distinctive colour bands.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • demonstrate that the soil is home to many microorganisms.
    • explain that microbes grow in response to different needs such as light, oxygen, no oxygen and various energy sources.

    Download the Word file for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • discussion questions
    • student handout.
      Published 30 July 2013 Referencing Hub articles
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