During the annual Faculty of Science’s Winter Week held from 28 June to 2 July 2010, the Department of Microbiology presented two sessions to almost 100 participants from schools all over South Africa. The main aim was to introduce the learners to the discipline of microbiology, focusing on the huge biodiversity among microbes and the important role these invisible life forms play in the world we know. The powerful applications of biotechnology in harnessing the potential of microbes to produce food, pharmaceuticals and cleaning up the environment were also highlighted. Learners were also given the opportunity to experience first-hand some basic microbial techniques, including culturing techniques and microscopy.

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Acknowledgements to:

  1. The technical staff of the department who made a great effort to prepare all the practical demonstrations and exhibits.
  2. The MSc students (De Wet Nel, Jane Borchardt and Giralda Paulse) who kindly assisted during the two sessions.
  3. Photo credit: Engela Duvenage

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