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Microorganisms: An Introduction

In this worksheet, students will get an introduction to microorganisms (microbes). What are they and what do they do?

'Microorganisms: An Introduction' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Extend Your Learning

Curriculum subtopic:   Interesting Topics from the Old Curriculum

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Micro-organisms (microbes) are tiny living things that can only be seen under a microscope.

 

 

People are interested in microbes because they can cause disease in humans, animals and plants.

However, micro-organisms can also be very useful. Some can be used to make food and even medicines!

 

In this worksheet you will cover the main types of micro-organisms, the conditions they need to survive and reproduce and how they can be useful to us.

To survive, micro-organisms need the same conditions as you or I. One condition that we need is a constant supply of food.

Under which of these conditions do micro-organisms grow the quickest?

warm and dry

warm and moist

cool and dry

cool and moist

What are the THREE main types of micro-organism?

viruses

annelids

molluscs

fungi

bacteria

arthropods

Which is the smallest micro-organism?

All three types of micro-organism can be harmful, but which one actually gets inside cells and uses that cell to make millions of copies of itself?

bacteria

fungi

viruses

 

Which micro-organism is used to make bread?

bacteria

fungi

viruses

 

Which micro-organism is used to make yoghurt?

bacteria

fungi

viruses

What is the best temperature for making yoghurt?

4 °C

21 °C

46 °C

 

 

Which micro-organism is used to make medicines called antibiotics?

bacteria

fungi

viruses

Which famous scientist discovered penicillin?

Charles Darwin

Albert Einstein

Alexander Fleming

Antibiotics - like penicillin - can only kill bacteria, true or false?

true

false

  • Question 1

To survive, micro-organisms need the same conditions as you or I. One condition that we need is a constant supply of food.

Under which of these conditions do micro-organisms grow the quickest?

CORRECT ANSWER
warm and moist
  • Question 2

What are the THREE main types of micro-organism?

CORRECT ANSWER
viruses
fungi
bacteria
  • Question 3

Which is the smallest micro-organism?

CORRECT ANSWER
virus
viruses
EDDIE SAYS
Viruses are tiny; their length is only about one millionth of a millimetre
  • Question 4

All three types of micro-organism can be harmful, but which one actually gets inside cells and uses that cell to make millions of copies of itself?

CORRECT ANSWER
viruses
EDDIE SAYS
Viruses are parasites. To reproduce they must take over the machinery of a living cell. Otherwise they cannot survive.
  • Question 5

 

Which micro-organism is used to make bread?

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
EDDIE SAYS
Yeast is a fungus. It is used in making bread along with flour, water, sugar and fat. Once mixed with warm water and sugar, each yeast cell starts to respire. During respiration the gas carbon dioxide is produced within the bread mixture. This is what makes the bread rise.
  • Question 6

 

Which micro-organism is used to make yoghurt?

CORRECT ANSWER
bacteria
EDDIE SAYS
Certain bacteria can change milk into yoghurt. Two different bacteria are added to the milk. When mixed with the milk, they turn a sugar called lactose into an acid called lactic acid. The lactic acid makes the protein particles in the milk stick together, thickening the milk thus changing it to yoghurt.
  • Question 7

What is the best temperature for making yoghurt?

CORRECT ANSWER
46 °C
EDDIE SAYS
This is the optimum temperature for bacteria to reproduce. If it is too cold, they will not reproduce and if its too hot the bacteria will die.
  • Question 8

 

 

Which micro-organism is used to make medicines called antibiotics?

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
EDDIE SAYS
The antibiotic penicillin is made from a fungal mould called penicillium.
  • Question 9

Which famous scientist discovered penicillin?

CORRECT ANSWER
Alexander Fleming
EDDIE SAYS
Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the medicinal powers of penicillium mould after it stopped the growth of a bacteria that he was growing in his lab!
  • Question 10

Antibiotics - like penicillin - can only kill bacteria, true or false?

CORRECT ANSWER
true
EDDIE SAYS
Antibiotics can only kill bacteria. Therefore, if you have an illness caused by a virus, there is no point taking antibiotics.
---- OR ----

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