What Are the SPO Virtual Classrooms?

Science Prof Online offers FREE fully-developed science curricula, including the Virtual Microbiology Classroom 8-week course featured on this page. (Click here for 16-week micro course), the Virtual Cell Biology Classroom and the Virtual Anatomy & Physiology Classroom.

Virtual Microbiology Classroom

Materials for an 8-week Micro Course from Science Prof Online

Mannitol Salt Agar
Prokaryotic Cell
Image of prokaryotic cell. For labeled diagram of same cell, click here.


​More Useful Microbiology Resources

Page last updated 8/2015

Photographic guides to differential stains 
now available!
1. Gram Stain
2. Acid-fast Stain
3. Endopsore Stain

What might happen if a deadly new infectious disease hit the scene? 

The film "Contagion" provides an excellent opportunity to learn about infectious disease, how it spreads and which organizations would be involved in tracking and controlling a dangerous outbreak.

Completing the Contagion Extra Credit Assignment will help you better understand this complex film.

Instructor's Corner
Microbiology in the News

On 9/18/12 the National Public Radio (NPR) show Talk of the Nation featured a story on superbug antibiotic resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae: "Hospitals Fight To Stop Superbugs' Spread". This is important information on scary new bugs and what healthcare institutions are doing to protect their patients and employees. 

Click here for a Virtual Microbiology Classroom  assignment to go with the story.
NPR Talk of the Nation story "Hospitals Fight To Stop Superbugs' Spread"
  • practice test and review questions
  • homework assignments
  • microbiology photos
  • animations and movies
  • links to other microbiology education resources

The Virtual Microbiology Classroom also offers laboratory material, featured below. The laboratory PowerPoints contain many helpful photos of materials viewed in lab. New resources are regularly added to the Virtual Microbiology Classroom. For updates, follow us on Twitter @ScienceProfSPO.

Virtual Microbiology Classroom 

Each title below is a link to all of the lecture-related course materials on that particular subject. 

LECTURE Topic - Intro to Microbiology

LECTURE Topic – History of Microbiology

LECTURE Topic – Prokaryote Cell Structure & Function

LECTURE Topic – Eukaryote Cell Structure & Function

LECTURE Topic - Biological Classification

LECTURE Topic - Meet the Microbes: Prokaryotes

These Virtual Classrooms are organized by lecture into several topics. Each lecture topic typically includes free:
  • PowerPoint lectures
  • study guide 
  • class note articles
Microbiology Lab Videos
Monsters Inside Me TV Show on Parasitism from Animal Planet

Monsters Inside Me
TV show, from Animal Planet, presenting case studies of  people with parasitic infections. So interesting, you'll learn about parasitism without even trying!

Check out our FREE "Monsters Inside Me" Homework Assignments 
Part 1 & Part 2!
Virtual Microbiology Classroom 

LAB #1: How to Use a Compound Microscope
Basic microscopy and viewing bacterial simple stain.

LAB #2: Gram Staining & Isolation Streak Plate Method
First lab in the series on identifying unknown bacteria. Students learn how to create a bacterial smear and preform the Gram stain, with controls and an unknown. Isolation streak plate technique also introduced.

LAB #3: Differential Staining & Specialized Media
Second lab in a series on identifying unknown bacteria. Students are introduced to the Acid-fast and Endospore stains. Specialized media (MacConkey's & Mannitol Salt) are inoculated with unknown to assist in identification of unknown bacteria using a dichotomous key.

LAB #4: Bacterial Growth Media & Cultures
Third lab in a series on identifying unknown bacteria. Students learn how to create controls showing various bacteria plated on MacConkeys, Mannitol Salt, Blood Agar & Tryptic Soy Agar. Students collect and interpret samples of normal flora from their own bodies.

LAB #5: Microbial Control: How to Kill Bacteria
Experiments in using heat, ultra-violet radiation, antibiotics and chemical disinfectants to kill bacteria.

LAB #6: Immunology - Leukocytes, Antibodies & Blood Typing
​Students learn about the cells involved in immune response, as well as antibody-antigen interaction by playing a virtual blood typing game and viewing leukocytes with the microscope.

Additional Microbiology Laboratory Resources

Our Favorite New Microbio APP!
 Cool infectious disease game:
Plague Inc.  
Do you have what it takes to be a successful pathogen?
The SPO website is best 
viewed in Windows Explorer,  Google Chrome or Apple Safari.
The VMC offers homework assignments based on Radiolab podcasts. 

 "Patient Zero"
"Rodney vs Death"

Patient 0 HW doc
Parasites HW doc
​- Rodney vs Death HW doc
Radiolab Logo

Need Help Pronouncing the Crazy Scientific Names of Microbes?

Visit the 
Bacterial Pathogen Pronunciation Station!



Here is the the list of countries and US states that have the top 4 number of SPO visitors! 


Congrats you bunch of brainiacs!

Our current
Smarty-Pants Science Reading Pick: 
The Ghost Map
Steven Johnson

Smarty-pants Countries:
#1 US
#2 Philippines
#3 UK
#4 India

Smarty-pants US States: 
#1 California
#3 Texas
#3 New York
#4 New Jersey