The Science Teacher

Nutrient Agar Plates

I made up nutrient agar plates for my 3rd years last week. At the start of the microorganisms chapter I gave each student a plate. They divided it into three sections using a sharpie and labelled each section. They then used sterile swaps to swap three surfaces. Students could decided what they wanted to swap. I suggested their hands, phones, door handles…

We incubated the plates and viewed them at the end of the week when we were finishing up the theory. They were HORRIFIED!!

I followed the following method (It worked perfectly for me and grew microbes but everyone has their own way)

  1. Placed 24g of nutrient agar into two conical flasks.
  2. I added 500ml of boiling water into each flask, stirring well for a few minutes.
  3. I placed cotton wool to stopped the flasks and placed both onto a hot plate.
  4. Continue to stir every couple of minutes to ensure the agar isn’t clumped at the bottom.
  5. Put on a low heat as it will boil over quickly as it was boiling water that was added.
  6. I simmered the mixtures for approximately 10 minutes.
  7. Poured straight into petri dishes.
  8. Cooled and stored in the fridge.
  9. This made 24 plates.

Lots of you asked how I made my plates so I hope this helps you out!

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