Researchers at the University of Oxford are study how bacteria live together, interact or compete, and hope to test theories about how much larger species interact. In these resources, inspired by this research, students devise a method to test whether the microorganisms in probiotics make it to the stomach alive (KS3), looks at how antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria develop (KS4), research what drives competitions or cooperation in animals (KS4), and read a research paper to consider evidence around how the microbiome can effect mood (KS5).
KS3 - Beneficial Bacteria
KS4 - Alternative Antibiotics
KS4 - Cooperate or Compete
Probiotics contain species of these bacteria but do they actually work to increase their population in our intestines? This activity is suitable for extending the more able students. They plan an investigation to collect evidence before evaluating how valid their data would be.
In this activity students use a model to understand how antibiotic resistant bacteria develop and then investigate a possible solution.
Some groups of organisms live in harmony, sharing and helping each other. Whilst others fight for their share of resources – what drives organisms to cooperate or compete?In this lesson students find out why the work of microbiologists at The University of Oxford is helping to answer this question. This lesson is best used after students have studied competition between organisms. The main activity can be carried out for homework.
In this activity students read an extract from a paper written by microbiologists and The University of Oxford to understand how bacteria can influence our thoughts and feelings – are they trying to manipulate their hosts for their own benefit or is this simply a side-effect?