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Educator Resource: Curriculum Module

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.
Middle School
Time required
Minimum of eight 40-50 minute sessions

A middle school life science curriculum module developed in partnership between SD EPSCoR and the Education and Outreach Department of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The focus is on bacterial biofilms. The unit addresses; what are bacteria, what is a biofilm, where and why do biofilms form, and what are beneficial ways to utilize and/or alter biofilms?

Dental plaque is the over-arching unit phenomenon. The unit also introduces students 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

(Optional) 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.

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.