T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Microorganisms in the 21st Century (part 1)

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CHIN, Gatineau, Quebec

Introduction to Microoganisms and Biotechnology
In this two-part lesson plan, your students will examine how microorganisms have been and continue to be used by humans. In the first lesson (part 1), a description of the development of imaging technology (microscopy) is provided as an interesting connection between technological advances across time and how scientists have come to understand the nature of the micro-world. In the second lesson (part 2), examples of how microorganisms have benefited humans throughout history and into today's societies. This lesson will also take a look at current uses of microorganisms in agriculture and medicine, providing students with a sense of relevance and outlook into future possibilities.

Part 1 & 2 should cover 2 - 3 class periods and should be supported by any additional class references (textbooks, teacher notes, etc...). It is best suited for Grade 11/12 or Secondary 5/CEGEP Biology, but it may also be incorporated into classes on Human Health and Food Nutrition.

Enjoy!
The Development of Microscopy (part 1)
This first lesson will serve as an introduction to the discovery and uses of a variety of microscopes. The main question here is 'how has our understanding of microorganisms developed over time' and 'how has the use of microscopes helped us in this pursuit'. Through descriptions and pictures, students will better understand this important part of the history of science. If you have any microscopes available at your learning institution, bring them out and allow your students to discover hands-on how they work.
Development of the Optical Microscope
Canadian Heritage Information Network
© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Janssen microscope
Janssen microscope
A replica of the Janssen microscope, circa 1595.

Photo courtesy of Lucent Books Inc.
Replican Microscope



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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Early Research with the Microscope
Canadian Heritage Information Network
© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Leeuwenhoek microscope
Leeuwenhoek microscope
Reproduction of a Leeuwenhoek microscope

Bausch and Lomb Optical Company
Leeuwenhoek microscope (reproduction)

1972.10.1

© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
How the Optical Microscope Works
Canadian Heritage Information Network
© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Optical Microscope
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Optical Microscope Innovations
Canadian Heritage Information Network
© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Mid 19th century microscope
Benjamin Martin microscope
A compound/drum microscope characteristic of the mid 19th century

Benjamin Martin


720429

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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Olympus compound microscope
Olympus compound microscope
An example of a compound microscope used today in microbiology and pathology laboratories.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Pathology, Queen´s University.
Microscope



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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
How the Compound Microscope Works
How the Compound Microscope Works
The compound microscope uses two (or more) lenses to increase the size of the image focused on the viewer's retina. Light rays (A) travelling outward from an object (B) bend as they pass through the first lens (C). The rays converge at a focal point (D). The rays cross and spread out until they create an image known as the first image (E). The light rays making up this enlarged image are allowed to spread out further before they are bent inward by a second lens (F), the eye-lens. The rays passing through the eye-lens enter the eye at an angle, so they appear to be coming from a much larger object (G), the virtual or final image.

Courtesy of Lucent Books Inc.




© CHIN 2001
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Images Obtained from Microscopes
The following is a collection of some images seen through microscopes. Have your students examine and compare each one. What can you see now that you can't with the naked eye? How are the images similar and different? What can we learn from this technology?

Although these images are not necessarily of microorganisms, they do provide an understanding of the power that microscops have in examining what cannot be seen by the naked eye. Ask your students what aspects of microorganisms could be investigate using microscopes, based on what is seen in these slides. What do they predict they might see and learn if they were to place a microorganism under each type of microscope? Carry these questions throughout the rest of the lesson.
Tubercule bacillus slide
Tubercule bacillus slide
Present-day image of tuberculosis bacteria (red-staining rods) in sputum from a patient with tuberculosis, stained with an ´acid-fast´ stain.

Photo courtesy of Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Queen´s University
Slide



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Cytology slide
Cytology slide
A slide of atypical cells (Koilocytes) in a cytology smear from the cervix--reflecting a human papilloma virus infection.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Pathology, Queen´s University.
Slide



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Chronic renal disease
Chronic renal disease
A slide of a section of the kidney demonstrating the damaged glomerulus and tubules of the kidney seen in chronic renal disease.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Pathology, Queen´s University.
Slide



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Fluorescent micrograph of a cell
Fluorescent micrograph of a cell
Picture of a human natural killer (NK) cell (stained with a fluorescent green) attacking a tumour cell called K562 (fluorescent yellow). The technique allows investigators to count killer cells and how many are attacking tumour cells.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Queen´s University.
Fluorescent micrograph



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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microscopy in the 20th century
To end the topic on Microscopy, a list of 4 interesting developments in microscope design are described below. Don't forget to add your own content to support what is provided here!
Inverted Microscope
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Inverted Microscope
Inverted Microscope

Armand-Frappier Museum




© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Photomicrography
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Photomicrography
Photomicrography

Armand-Frappier Museum




© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microcinematography
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microcinematography
Microcinematography

Armand-Frappier Museum




© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Electron Microscope
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Electron Microscope
Electron Microscope

Armand-Frappier Museum




© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Research Laboratory
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Suggested Activity
Here's an idea! Visit the website http://befuddle.com. Here, you can upload images from your computer and have them scrambled into a puzzle. Find a number of pictures of different microscopes, mix the images up, and have your students rearrange and identify each! This is a fun way to recognize and remember the different types of microscopes discussed in class.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
- understand the history of our developing understanding of microorganisms
- compare and contrast different tools used to examine microorganisms
- investigate how microorganisms have been and continue to be important in everyday human life