Our environment is filled with tiny living organisms called microbes. They are far too small to be seen with your eyes alone but they play a big role in our lives. Some of these microbes help us to live, some breakdown waste material so our Earth doesn’t fill up with dead stuff, and others are harmful - at least to humans. Research a few microbes that are good for humans. Find out what they look like, how they help us, and where they live. Then do the same for microbes that are harmful to humans. Investigate what a few of these look like; why they are harmful, and where they live.
After you have gathered this information, you are ready for the rest of the activity!
You are going to make an educational mobile.
Materials that you will need:
- about a dozen index cards (3 x 5”)
- a roll of string, yarn, or ribbon
- a coat hanger
- some crayons, markers, or even paint
- a hole punch (optional)
- your research notes
Prepare separate index cards to show harmful and harmless microbe titles. You may want to cut and change the shape of the index cards rather than leave them rectangular. Punch a hole (or carefully poke two holes in each one) at the top and bottom edges. Prepare index cards to show what each microbe looks like. Make holes in the cards as before. Now make cards that show several facts about the microbes, what they eat, where they are found, how they help or harm us, etc. Now use the string, yarn, or ribbon to tie the index cards to opposite ends of the coat hanger so that the mobile is somewhat balanced.
Challenge question: Would it be wise for humans to kill all harmful microbes? Why or why not?
Send your photos of your mobiles and the answer to the Challenge question to JR! Let’s see who is the most creative – while still getting across the message about microbes.