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Teaching Microbiology

Microbiology education blog for undergraduate and graduate faculty

Monday, 08 May 2017 09:38

This Mother’s Day, Give the Gift of Science

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Here in the U.S. (and many other countries), it’s almost Mother’s Day.  In celebration, we’re offering up ideas to help you share your love of science with your mom (or other family and friends).
ASM’s Microbe Academy for Professional Development (MAPD) helps prepare microbiology students for success. Patricia Baynham, Ph.D., ASM Committee on Minority Education member and one of the facilitators of MAPD, recently shared some of the program’s key characteristics as well as ways that others can use MAPD as a model to foster student success at conferences and beyond. 
In an introductory microbiology lab, one common goal is to increase student skills with the microscope, including the ability to properly stain a bacterial specimen. But what is the best way to assess improvement in these skills?
Friday, 21 April 2017 11:23

Teaching Biodiversity on Earth Day (or Any Day)

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In celebration of Earth Day, we’re offering up 4 open-access, peer-reviewed resources from the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) to help infuse biodiversity-related content into your K-12 or undergraduate classroom and lab.
Monday, 17 April 2017 09:31

How to Write a Great Grant Application

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Writing a grant application can be daunting, especially when you’re new to the process. How do you know what funding opportunities are available, how to make your writing both succinct and impactful, and how to make sure you’ve completed all of the forms correctly?
Monday, 10 April 2017 08:39

Bring the Latest Science to Your Classroom

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The ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) is unique in that the latest advances in teaching, assessment, research on learning, and mentoring are presented and discussed alongside cutting-edge science, allowing educators to bring both current education practices and science topics into their classrooms.
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 11:18

Transforming Microbiology Education

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The ubiquitous nature of microorganisms, their growth and metabolic uniqueness, and modern science’s need to harness these life forms to solve global challenges of the future make Microbes as a Way of Solving Global Challenges a transformational concept in education.
Team outreach can help improve the environment in your lab, provide students with experience outside of the lab, and bolster team communication. Students gain insight into careers in scientific outreach while your lab builds a feeling of community in knowing that they are involved in work that is making a difference. 
In 2012, Dr. Amy Briggs, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Beloit College attended the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) for the first time. “That conference was transformational for me; it was the most friendly, fun, inspiring, and engaging conference I had ever attended, and it made me want to become a part of that community and get further involved,” she says.
If you work in the crucial field of science communication, or know someone who does, now is your chance to have your work published alongside your peers’ in a special themed issue of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) to be published in spring 2018.
Thursday, 02 March 2017 08:46

Classroom Idea: The Microbiome and March Madness

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What do March Madness and the human microbiome have in common? Both are elements of a lab activity for an upper-division microbiology course.
As an undergrad, Floricel Gonzalez wasn’t sure that research was for her. She originally wanted to be a veterinarian, and had been told that research was a great way to get started and find out what she liked.  “I couldn’t get the protocol to work,” she says of her undergrad research project. 
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 14:21

How to Turn Biology Student Workers into Lab Assistants

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Giving work study students the chance to work in their intended field provides an advantage in getting employed in their professional field after the completion of their degree program. 
The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) positively impacts students, sparking their interest in microbiology and helping them achieve success. But it’s not just students who benefit from the URF program – faculty who mentor URF students report increased productivity in their labs, greater funding success, and a honing of their mentoring skills.
The iGEM cloning competition offers unique opportunities for both students and mentors.
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 11:29

ASMCUE Travel Award Winners Share Tips for Faculty

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Planning is underway for the 2017 ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), and applications are now being accepted for the ASMCUE Textbook Travel Award. We recently checked in with past award winners, who shared their current teaching and research activities as well as tips for fellow faculty.
Many educators shy away from active learning in large groups of students because it takes extra hands to run the activities. Undergraduate Learning Assistants can provide the help you need.
Educators teaching physiology, evolution, climate change, basic scientific/research literacy and other science topics can find resources in ASM’s open-access Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) as our scope extends beyond microbiology.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 09:26

Make Mentoring Work in Your Classroom or Lab

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January is National Mentoring Month; mentoring helps students, beginning researchers, and early-career faculty persist and succeed in science.
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:15

How One Undergraduate Got Hooked on Clinical Research

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Sameer Shaikh was helping his mother, a physician, transcribe notes in the clinic when he learned about a patient with cystic fibrosis who was suffering from an infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  He didn’t know what this bacterium was, and his mother explained that it’s ubiquitous in nature. “Ok,” Sameer thought, “If it’s everywhere, then why isn’t it affecting me?” His curiosity about microbiology was sparked, and with his mother’s encouragement, he started to read about cystic fibrosis, Pseudomonas, and immunology.
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