100 Days of Science #45-- Growing a Germ Farm

We ordered a BioResearch kit from Amazon and thought it would be a fun and quick science experiment to use them all in one day to make a germ farm.  

We put all our Agar plates on a tray, had a bottle of water handy, and brainstormed ideas for things we wanted to swab and test for germs.  

Here are our plates all laid out and ready for us:

We wet down three cotton swabs that came with the kit using bottled water and I set each of the boys in search of something to test.  Evan wanted to see how many germs were in the turtle tank water.

Once his swab was all wet he rolled it on the Agar plate and then made a star with the swab (as the directions in the kit instructed us to do).

Alec tested the stem of our tomato plants.

As we finished up each plate I taped the sides shut and then put a piece of tape across the front and labeled what we had tested.

It is suggested that you put all the plates in an incubator but we don't have one of those so I put our tray in our washroom.  It's a small room and our dryer is always going so it stays nice and warm in there.  I figured it wouldn't hurt that it was a nice dark room too.

We checked on our plates the following afternoon.  With the printed background on our tray it was hard to see our results so we slipped a few pieces of black construction paper underneath.  We were so surprised that some things-- like Ian's fingernails, the doorknob, and the microphone headset for the XBox had little to no germs yet.  But we could already see that the stove top, turtle tank, and shoe treads were full of germs.

We put the tray back in the washroom for another 24 hours and here's what it looked like when we checked on them the next day:

This one actually turned a reddish brown!

While it is not recommended that you leave them longer than 48 hours we did decide to keep our agar plates over the weekend and planned to make up some plates to look at under our microscope on Monday.

Now if you'll excuse me.. I'm off the clean the stove with some pretty heavy duty oven cleaner and I won't be using a sponge this time!

Others in this series:
2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 
3.  Learning About Air Molecules


  1. Wow! Interesting but kind of gross ha! Where did you get the little containers? Yet another project I know my son would enjoy. :)

    1. Yep, it was both interesting and just a bit gross... so my boys LOVED it! Ha. I bought the kit on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0165PQST0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it came with everything we needed except for a bottle of water to dunk the swabs in so that whatever we swiped would stick.

  2. Wow, that's wild! I'd like to test the bottom of my dog's feet, lol!

    1. OH yeah, I bet they'd be pretty germy since it's basically like wearing your shoes all the time.


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