Biofilms- Stuck Like Glue, Stuck on You

What are biofilms and how are they formed? Why are they so hard to destroy? Explore instances of biofilms and ways in which biofilms are being used by scientists and engineers to help solve problems.

Curriculum module tags

Grade level

Content area

Time required

Minimum of eight 40-50 minute sessions

Curriculum module media

Bathtub toy cut in half to expose interior

Biofilms-Stuck Like Glue, Stuck on you is a middle school life science curriculum unit developed in partnership between SD EPSCoR and the Education and Outreach Department of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. 

During this unit students explore bacterial biofilms, through the phenomenon of dental plaque. Students are introduced to a multitude of biofilms across a wide range of environments, including the biofilms found underground and at the Waste Water Treatment Plant of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The unit concludes with an exploration of engineering methods for both inhibiting harmful biofilms and encouraging beneficial ones.

Biofilms- Stuck Like Glue, Stuck On You -Microbial Communities

Curriculum Standards

  • 6-8-ETS1-2

    Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

  • MS-LS1-1

    Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.

  • MS-LS1-2

    Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.

  • MS-LS1-5

    Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.