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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2015 Oct;362(20). pii: fnv171. doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnv171. Epub 2015 Sep 20.

BiOutils: an interface to connect university laboratories with microbiology classes in schools.

Author information

1
Microbiology Unit, Department of Plant Biology 30, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet Geneva 4 CH 1211, Switzerland.
2
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Geneva, 1 Rue Michel Servet, Geneva 4 CH 1211, Switzerland.
3
Microbiology Unit, Department of Plant Biology 30, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet Geneva 4 CH 1211, Switzerland Karl.Perron@unige.ch.

Abstract

The contribution of microbiology to the scientific advances of modern experimental biology has very often made the difference. Despite this, its role as an independent discipline has slowly started to fade away. This situation has been worsening due to (i) a marginal role of microbiology in academic curricula and (ii) a low or misplaced interest by the public at large towards this field of study. In order to counter this phenomenon, microbiology researchers and passionate scientists have made several efforts to engage and inform the broad public and academic policymakers about the importance of microbiology as an independent discipline. One of the approaches used in this direction is to support the teaching of microbiology in schools. BiOutils, a science communication platform based within a microbiology lab, has been committed to this goal since its creation in 2007. In this article, we describe how the platform is able to work in synergy with school teachers, providing engaging activities that can be performed in schools' classrooms. Our aim is to provide a perspective on how every microbiology lab with little costs and efforts can support the teaching of a discipline that will remain independent thanks to the fascination that they will be able to transmit.

KEYWORDS:

classroom activities; communication platform; education; microbiology; science teaching

PMID:
26391525
DOI:
10.1093/femsle/fnv171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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