Part B

Collecting Data

11. In your lab report, create a data table similar to the model shown below. Allow plenty of space to record your observations for each quadrant swabbed.

12. Check the Petri dish daily for bacterial growth until you no longer find new bacterial colonies (about seven days). Bacterial colonies tend to look shiny and wet, whereas fungal colonies tend to look dry and fuzzy. Record your observations in your data table. What is enabling you to see bacteria? What does each colony represent?


Analysis and Conclusions

1. On which surfaces did you find the most bacteria? the fewest bacteria? Did your results conform to your expectations? Explain.

2. Compare the colonies of bacteria that grew in each quadrant. What can you tell about the bacteria from the kinds of colonies the bacteria produced?

3. What are some possible sources of error in the procedure you followed?

4. Combine the data obtained by the entire class. Which surfaces yielded the most bacteria?

5. Which of the surfaces that you sampled would you prefer to use as a food-preparation area? Explain your choice.

6. Would the amount of surface area that you sampled with your swab affect the number of colonies that grew on your dish? Explain your answer.

7. Can you tell by looking at the colonies on the dish if they would cause disease? Why or why not?

8. What test described in this chapter could you use to partially identify your bacteria? What characteristics of the bacteria could you learn from this test?

Further Inquiry

Design an experiment to test the effects of one variable, such as temperature or the presence of antibacterial soap, on the growth of bacteria. What would you use as a control in your experiment?

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