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How much do you know about a paramecium? How much do you know about yeast? How much do you know about bacteria? They are all examples of microorganisms that all play a role in our world. You will have the opportunity to research and report on a microorganism.

In your report you will need to include the following information: food, water, air, waste disposal, temperature of environment, and reproduction. Design this report to share with your friends. You might do a poster, oral report, presentation, or other format.

Below are several examples of common microorganisms that you may find interesting. Press any of the titles below to help you make a decision on which microorganism you will report on.


Protists — The kingdom Protista includes both single-celled and multi-celled organisms. Some protists can produce their own food through photosynthesis, while others must consume their food. Protists generally live in water, and a great place to find many protists is in a local pond. Some other places where protists can be found include: the process of making ice cream, milkshakes, pie filling, weight control drinks, lotions, creams, and paints. Some protists are helpful to other living things, while other protists are disease causing.

Some of the common types of Protists include: Giardia (Parasitic protist), Radiolarians (Amoeba like with shells), Diatom (glass-like shells), Volvox (Green algae that grows in colonies), Euglena (characteristics of both plants and animals).

Bacteria — Bacteria are the some of the smallest and simplest living things on earth. They are all single celled and do not have a nucleus. Bacteria can be both helpful and harmful. Some bacteria help in the digestion of food, plant growth, making foods and medicine, and are great decomposers. However, some bacteria are harmful and cause disease.

Some of the commonly known types of bacteria include: Anthrax (causes sickness in humans and animals), Escheria coli (found in intestines/harmful when eaten in foods), Cyanobacteria (once thought to be a blue-green algae), Oscillatoria, Rhizobium (helps plant growth), Streptococcus bacillus (causes strep throat) etc.

Fungi — The Fungi Kingdom is neither plant nor animal. However, Fungi do have characteristics of both. Fungi consume food by absorbing the nutrients from whatever source they are growing on. Some are poisonous and cause disease, while others are extremely helpful, such as bread yeast.

Some of the common types of fungi include: Penicillium (antibiotic), Yeast (many varieties of yeast), Arthrobotrys dactyloides (soil fungi that traps round worms), Candida (disease causing), Aspergillus (causes infections), Rhizopus (bread mold).



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Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 6th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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