Microbe Zoo

The Microbe Zoo invites young people to actively explore the hidden world of microbes through an appealing, fun interface.


Rather than visit the "Lion House" or the "Monkey House," learners go to microbe habitats such as dirt, water, and inside of humans and animals. At the "Snack Shop," you can look at the microbes that live in snacks, rather than eating snacks.


Within each habitat, students zoom down to individual microbe "cages" to see and learn about the microbe. Each cage contains a plaque that provides information on the microbe and its habitat. The "Size Machine" allows the students to get a feel for the relative size of the creature they are looking at.


In addition to exploring through the zoo interface, students can search for microbe specimens based on Microscope Type and/or Microbe Classification using the 'crobe 2000 database.


The CD-ROM includes more than 150 microbe specimens. All specimens include textual descriptions, full-screen pictures, and audio pronunciations of their names.


As the student explores the zoo, various tools are available to enhance and record their experiences. The Scientist's Lab Notebook provides extensive background on microbial habitats. A glossary provides definitions. Within each habitat, a guide provides audio narration and insightful information. A notepad allows the student to jotting down (and saving and printing) their impressions. A camera (with lot's of film) is available for taking pictures of their favorite microbes.


Scientists and students alike delight in this appealing window to the unseen world of microbes.


The Microbe Zoo was partially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and developed by the Communication Technology Lab and the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University.

Copyright © 2002-2015 Andrew Kurtz