The Two Faces of Bacteria

Twice a month, highschoolers from Kokomo Area Schools at Home (KASH) gather here at Criterion Water Labs to study organisms as small as a single cell and as large as an ecosystem. Today’s topic was the kingdom Monera, which contains both beneficial and pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria.

The students drew the basic structures of a bacterium, from the capsule that insulate it from its environment to the DNA nestled inside that encodes its genetic information. Using a stereoscope, an instrument that magnifies opaque objects to make them easier to see, they examined pond water collected from a variety of sources. In the weeks ahead, they will observe the bacteria’s ability to use different food sources by introducing dirt, hay, or straw into their samples and reexamining the samples at their next class.

The students discussed the ways in which bacteria impact humans, either by producing foods such as cheese and yogurts, or by causing intensely harmful bacterial infections, such as the Black Plague.

Modern historians estimate that the Black Plague claimed over 20 million lives, nearly one-third of the world’s population at that time.

The students discussed how epidemics are often prevented today by returning to God’s commands about cleanliness and quarantine, and by using vaccinations.


Let’s Magnify the Lord

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3 (KJV)

Human artwork, no matter how refined, seldom holds up to many levels of magnification. But God’s artwork does! Here are some of the flowers, insects, and other specimens you photographed in class. You can label what each one is and which are yours by clicking on an image and adding a comment. What an incredible designer God is!


















Connect with Dr. Jay Wile!

Dr. Jay Wile not only wrote your textbook: he travels around the country speaking about creation science and intepreting reality through a Biblical Christian worldview!

He recently participated in a debate at the Creation Science Expo in Indianapolis. Here’s what happened!

Read more at Dr. Jay Wile’s website: He discusses science and other topics in his blog Proslogian, and has a whole wealth of handouts available from various speaking engagements. Also, look him up on Facebook!

10/3/12 Module 3 Quiz

1. Fill in the blanks:
Zooplankton is a(n) ______________, and phytoplankton is a(n) ______________

A. Autotroph
B. Heterotroph

2. True or false: The account in Scripture about the Nile becoming blood when God struck Egypt with plagues could have been due to red tide—a red algal bloom of Gymnodinium brevis which can sometimes occur in nutrient-rich water.

3. (Select all that apply) Which of the following is an example of symbiosis?

A. A bird eats a grasshopper
B. A caterpillar chows down on a leaf
C. A protozoa in a termite’s gut digests cellulose for a termite
D. A bird cleans a hippo’s teeth
E. A Venus fly trap digests a fly

4. (Select all that apply) Which of the following is true about malaria?

A. When a mosquito bites a human, they transmit mosquito larvae into the host, which can cause malaria in that human
B. Malaria is passed when a mosquito transfers Plasmodium spores in its salivary glands into a human host
C. If an uninfected mosquito bites an infected human, that mosquito can become infected
D. Plasmodium causes red blood cells to burst
E. Some of the symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, and shaking

5. (Select all that apply) The cilia of a paramecium allow it to move from one place to another; what else does it allow the paramecium to move?

A. Dust out of its eyes
B. Food into its mouth
C. RNA out of its nucleus
D. A food vacuole through its cytoplasm
E. Protein from its Golgi bodies


  1. B, A (see p. 85-86)
  2. False: Scripture clearly states that the water in the Nile turned to blood. Even though Red Tide would also be red, algae is certainly not blood! (see pp. 89-90 & On Your Own Question 3.15)
  3. C, D (see p. 78)
  4. B, C, D, and E (see pp. 81-83)
  5. B (see p. 79)

Kokomo’s Next First Challenge is Coming Up!

Science is about innovation, and we encourage you to take part in the “Kokomo’s Next First” Challenge! Now through October 17th, think about a product or process you can invent or improve. Then submit your idea to Splash ! Kokomo. Check out the details below!

Kokomo’s Next First is a K-12 educational initiative sponsored by Splash ! Kokomo  to encourage Howard County students to develop an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit within our own community–in order to create new and better services and products for our city, state, nation and world.

Assignment Due: October 17, 2012

Step 1

Choose one of the following biology laboratory tools and consider how to innovate an improvement. Or, “create” an entirely new science lab tool invention.

beaker forceps petri dish
Bunsen burner funnel pipette
cover slip glass slide probe
dissecting pan graduated cylinder safety goggles
dissecting pin magnifying glass safety mask
dissecting scissors medicine dropper scalpel
microscope test tube

Step 2

Display your work through one of the following three methods:

  • A well-written and descriptive paragraph that details your innovation/invention;
  • A clearly-labeled  and neatly-drawn image with an explanatory sentence or two; or,
  • A 3-D model in clay, Styrofoam, cardboard, wood or some other material that depicts your creation.

Several factors should be considered in this assignment—creativeness, neatness, thoroughness. Also, you may utilize method #1 and, in addition, either method #2 or method #3.

Finished projects will be showcased online at in an article about your biology class and the Kokomo’s Next First challenge.

9/19/12 Module 2 Quiz

1. What is the scientific term for “spherical bacteria”?

2. Most bacteria thrive in all but one the following conditions. What is that condition?

A. high nutrient concentrations
B. moderate temperatures
C. darkness
D. dryness
E. community

3. (Select all that apply) When a bacterium divides, its daughter cells have:

A. DNA different from their parent cell, and different from one another
B. DNA different from their parent cell, but the same as one another
C. DNA the same as that of their parent cell, and the same as one another
D. DNA the same as that of their parent cell, but different from one another
E. equal claim to the family inheritance

4. (Select all that apply) When a bacterium is referred to as “aerobic,” this means it requires:

A. sweatpants
B. phosphorous
C. oxygen
D. dihydrogen oxide
E. nitrogen

5. Ship:rudder as cell:_______

A. plasma membrane
B. flagellum
C. capsule
D. pilus
E. cytoplasm


1. coccus
2. D
3. C, E
4. A, C
5. B