Medical Terminology classes test bacteria growth

To see how infections can spread, students swab items


Gurleen Swaich

Learning how much bacteria people unknowingly come into contact with, students in Medical Terminology are swabbing places and items in the school to visualize the spread of germs.  

“I want to help students learn about infection control and how to contain a bacteria system,” Medical Terminology teacher Kirsten Winfield said.  “Students are having a good time monitoring and checking up on their petri dishes and they are learning how to take observations.  It’s helping them get better [at observing] for any of their future professions.”

By knowing how bacteria can spread on objects, students can understand how easily it could diffuse throughout the whole body as well as the integumentary system.

“My group and I decided to swipe my friend’s phone and I was surprised with the results,” sophomore Ruth Shiferaw said. “You never realize how much bacteria there can be on things we use everyday, like our phones. It made me realize how important it is to make sure you’re cleaning your phones [and] headphones.”

Throughout the week, students are recording what has developed. Students’ main grade will come from their observations they recorded in a packet. 

“This project was really interesting to me because we took a sample of the vending machine and the growth was instant and was pretty disgusting,” sophomore Isabell Min said. “I feel like I was able to grasp a better understanding of how bacteria grows because if you think about it, inside the vending machine, it can be pretty hot and bacteria develops very quickly in damp dark areas. It is really exciting to go in everyday and see the new development of bacteria and the results never fail to surprise me.”

At the end of the project, students will connect the bacteria growth to their upcoming topic, the cardiovascular system. 

“This will help us continue towards body systems and understanding the body as a whole and how it can be affected so quickly by infection,” Winfield said. “This project should allow students to better prepare for the various health sciences they may go into. It is going to help in gaining a better understanding of where bacteria comes from, how it can grow on anything, as well as teach the precautions you need to take during these types of situations.”