Reflection: Routines and Procedures Antibiotic Lab Investigation (Day 1 of 3) - Section 4: Closure: What did we learn? Where do we go from here?

 

At this point in the three-day process, students had the opportunity to gain basic information that pertains to what bacteria are, what antibiotics are, and how they interact together. Chiefly, a brief history of medical use of antibiotics was shared (from Penicillin having been discovered in 1928) to several subsequent antibiotics later on.

I wanted students to consider the role of the "age" of an antibiotic versus the effectiveness of that drug on killing bacterial cells. Certainly, the issue of antibiotic resistance is multi-factorial however to condense the issue down to exposure of bacterial cells to a given antibiotic would be a simple and straightforward place to start as students grappled with this all too common medical issue. From this point-of-view, penicillin is the oldest of the three antibiotics in question therefore one might reasonably predict that over this longer time period of exposure to the antibiotic, more bacteria have developed a resistance to penicillin, and according to the experiment, should produce a larger "death zone". See this student's hypothesis and how she develops her experimental design according to this framework.

 

This is the basic understanding that we developed on day 1 (in addition to the nuts and bolts of the lab protocol).

  Routines and Procedures: The Zone of Death...
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Antibiotic Lab Investigation (Day 1 of 3)

Unit 1: 1) Intro to Science ("Investigations by Design")
Lesson 8 of 10

Objective: Students will learn the basic details regarding the background history of antibiotics, the nature of bacterial organisms, and explore the phenomenon of antibacterial/antimicrobial resistance in a hands-on manner.

Big Idea: Bacterial infections, the use of antibiotics, and their increasing resistance to many antibiotics is a growing and widespread issue for medical science. Students will investigate this issue in a hands-on lab.

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Subject(s):
Science, Scientific Method (Science Skills), LS1, cause and effect, asking questions, investigation, Data Analysis & Interpretation, Engaging in Argument, Communicating Information, habits of mind, Science Practices, numerical data
  55 minutes
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