Polytechnic School: Mud and Microbes
Poly fourth-graders recently learned about microbes with the help of Poly parent Dianne Newman, a member of the Caltech faculty who was recently named a MacArthur Fellow, and her colleagues. Last week, the professionals helped the fourth grade build mud watts, devices that use bacteria to convert organic matter found in mud into electricity. The groups were challenged to see who could power the brightest light bulb. They considered what their microbes might like to eat and added things like fruit juice, vinegar, salt, ketchup, and sugar. Let there be light!
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