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“Little Scientists”Explore Micro-world

On May 20, 2017, “Future Scientist Class” began for the fourth time in HZAU. Under the guidance of Chen Dasong, an associate professor from college of Life Science and Technology, over 70 primary school students explored the magical world of microorganism.

Microorganisms are ubiquitous and have close ties with human life and the students showed great interest in microbiological knowledge. “How is the wine brewed?”, “How is the bread fermented?”, “ How to make fresh baked pancakes soft and porous?” and “How are fermented bean curd and yogurt made?” A series of questions aroused the students’ interest. Professor Chen told the students that these magical products were all made because of microorganisms. “Why could people get a lot of energy from the soy products?” He asked. “Because they contain a lot of proteins”, the kids answered in succession.

After the science lecture, the pupils entered the microbiology laboratory and started to observe the microorganisms. They pressed their fingerprints on the medium and left the bacteria of their hands there, and one week later they came back to see what would happen. The kids came back the next week and were told to take off the glass lid of the petri dish and put it under a microscope and observe it with 4x objective lens. After observing the clear mold structure, Wang Shirui from Affiliated Primary School of HZAU said that these dense points and threads were the mold bacteria and it was of great fun when painting it for she feels as if she was doodling. Yao Yijun from Wuhan Primary School illustrated her experimental records with pictures and attached lively and interesting words to each picture.

Subsequently, the pupils visited the key laboratory of agricultural microbes. The teacher explained the function of each instrument including the plant nanoslicers, freeze dryer, high-throughput cloning screening, two-photon microscopy, structured illumination super-resolution microscope, ultra-high speed sorting flow cytometry. The advanced equipment stimulated the students` interest in research.

Chen Yuan a pupil’s parent said, “Many thanks to HZAU for providing such a valuable opportunity for school kids in the Wuhan. The experience can not be learned from textbooks. The activity is good for children to explore the wonder of nature through scientific practice rather than lectures in classroom.”

(By Li Yutong)