What are micro organisms? Some inquisitive students who’ve come to realize that there’s a whole tiny universe out there might’ve asked the question “What are microorganisms?” at least once. This poster might just help answer that question and lead students to explore deeper and learn more about these tiny living things.
Microorganisms or microbes are organisms that are super small that you’ll need a microscope to see them. (Take note that the prefix ‘micro’ means small.) Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are examples of microorganisms. As technology advances and scientists have better opportunities to study these tiny creatures, they’ve discovered that there are possibly more than a trillion different species of microbes, and they come in a variety of different shapes — spheres, discs, rods, and even corkscrews!
We are surrounded by microorganisms even though we’re not really aware of them. They live in water, soil, in the air, and even inside the human body! Most microorganisms are good for us and have many benefits. For example, some microbes help to decompose dead plants and animals. Others aid in human digestion and are needed by the body to remain healthy. Microbes also help us enjoy beer, cheese, butter, and bread. However, some microbes can also be harmful because they can make us sick. Diseases like the flu, measles, and malaria are caused by microorganisms. The Black Death pandemic, which claimed millions of lives in Europe, Asia, and Africa, was also caused by a microorganism.
Next time a student asks, “What are micro organisms?” show them this poster and encourage them to explore the interesting microbial world. Young learners can learn more about microbes by downloading this poster and scanning it with the app from https://www.communityofmicrobes.com/. Open the app and simply point a smartphone or tablet camera to each image and witness a fascinating 3D animation powered by augmented reality (AR).
This project is funded and supported by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Cooper Union’s Albert Nerken School of Engineering STEM Outreach Program
To learn more and explore the microbial world, check out Smore Magazine for ages 8+.