AQA practicals – Microbiology (not for combined science)

Details: Investigate the effect of antiseptics or antibiotics on bacterial growth using agar plates and measuring zones of inhibition. This practical is mainly about teaching aseptic (sterile) technique when dealing with bacterial cultures.

Use appropriate apparatus to record length and area.
Use appropriate apparatus and techniques to observe and measure the process of bacterial growth.
Safe and ethical use of bacteria to measure physiological function and response to antibiotics and antiseptics in the environment.
Use appropriate techniques and qualitative reagents in problem-solving contexts to find the best antibiotic to use or the best concentration of antiseptic to use.

Develop hypotheses about the effectiveness of the antibiotics or antiseptics to be used.
Plan experiments to make observations, test hypotheses and explore phenomena.
Have due regard for accuracy of measurements, and health and safety when using bacterial cultures.
Calculate cross-sectional areas of bacterial cultures and clear agar jelly using πr2.

Typical questions: