Posted in Microbes

Microbes Book Presentation for Book Week Scotland 2018

Wow-wee!

On Monday 19th November, I did a Microbes book presentation as part of Book Week Scotland 2018 at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. The event was fully booked, filled with 400 school kids and teachers. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever presented too. Thank you to everyone who came!

I spoke about how I got into microbiology and creating Microbes. I also briefly talked about four groups of microbes that my book covers including bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa. The talk was broken up with images from the book, a live demonstration of a science experiment, and microbes themed videos.

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Towards the end, I answered questions and signed books. Another thanks go out to everyone who purchased the book that day! Your enthusiasm and support mean so much. 🙂

If you didn’t get a chance to buy the book, you can purchase it online through Amazon, Waterstones, or through my publisher, Thunderstone Books.

 

Till next time,

Amy

 

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Posted in Microbes

Book Week Scotland 2018

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while! I’m back with more Microbes action!

On Monday 19th November at 10am I will be doing a live book presentation at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library as part of Book Week Scotland 2018. Yay!

I will be talking about my book and the fascinating world of Microbes. In addition, I’ll be conducting a couple of Microbes themed science activities, and I shall get members of the audience to help me! The activities include self-inflating balloons using yeast, growing bacteria in petri dishes, and demonstrating how to protect yourself against nasty colds and viruses!

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Self-Inflating Baloon Activity – A simple fun experiment you can do at home using yeast, sugar, warm water, a plastic bottle and a balloon!

At the end of the presentation, there will be a Q&A followed by book signings. (I’ll be doodling a microbe in every book!) You can also pick up a free bookmark designed by me!bookmarks.jpg

I hope you can join me!

Till next time,
Amy

Posted in Microbes

Even More Bacteria!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season! 🙂
In my previous blog post, I talked about a private book launch event with a local school. During the event I had volunteers swab different surfaces in an effort to collect and grow bacteria in petri dishes containing nutrient agar. After a few weeks, the school sent me photos of the petri dishes, with some fantastic results!

I’m sure the students were amazed as well as disgusted with their findings! I bet they will be making the extra effort to wash their hands from now on. 😉

You can find out about bacteria in my book, Microbes, where I cover the different shapes of bacteria, how they reproduce, and the problem with resistant bacteria and antibiotics.
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If you’d like to purchase a copy of Microbes, you can find it on Waterstones, Amazon and from my publisher, Thunderstone Books.

If you’re interested in growing your own bacteria in petri dishes, follow this link or this link.

Happy bacteria growing!
Amy

Posted in Microbes

Microbes Book Launch

Hello everyone! 🙂

I had a brilliant launch last week on Thursday 7th and Saturday 9th December! I want to thank everyone who attended and who purchased a copy of Microbes!

On Thursday 7th I had two Year 5 classes from a local school join me for Microbes-packed fun. They participated in science experiments where we inflated balloons with carbon dioxide produced by yeast, made “germs” scatter, collected bacteria to grow in petri dishes and made some SLIME!

 

After the experiments, we had a Q&A session followed by me signing and doodling in purchased copies of Microbes.

Saturday 9th was a more relaxed event, where parents and children both got involved. There was plenty of colouring in of different Microbes characters, and fun using a USB microscope to see amazing detail of tiny objects, such as pennies. I also performed demonstrations of the science experiments, talked to parents about the book and answered questions.

I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to share Microbes with everyone and celebrate its launch. I have had a wonderful time connecting with many people and receiving incredible positive responses. I want to thank Thunderstone Books for allowing me to share Microbes with the world and for their continual help and commitment to the book, to Didsbury Library for allowing me to use their space, to St.Catherine’s Catholic Primary School for getting involved and celebrating the launch with me, to my family and my partner Joshua for their help and support, and to everyone who has so far purchased a copy of Microbes!

If you haven’t yet got a copy, but would like to purchase one you can find Microbes on Amazon, Waterstone’s and my publisher’s website Thunderstone Books.

Thanks everyone! 🙂

Amy

Posted in Microbes

3…2…1…Microbes release!

Hello all! 🙂

I’m excited to announce that Microbes is now available! Horrah!

I’ve arranged the Microbes book launch too! Double horrah! There will be two events held at Didsbury Library, (692 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 2DN).

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On Thursday 7th December, I will have two Year 5 classes from St.Catherine’s Catholic Primary School to attend an hourly session of Microbes packed fun! I have designed activity sheets, colouring pages, and prepared simple science experiments.

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On Saturday 9th December the event will be open to the public from 10am – 12.30pm. Please join me during this time to celebrate the launch of Microbes! You will be able to purchase a copy at the library (cash only please!), and I’ll be happy to sign or doodle your copy too! Otherwise, you can order Microbes from Waterstones or from Amazon, or my publisher, Thunderstone Books.

I’ve also set-up a Facebook event where you can find information about the event and updates here.

I hope to see you on Saturday 9th December!
Have a super duper weekend!

Amy

Posted in Microbes

Bacteria From My Bellybutton & More

Hello all!

Today I bring you a bacteria focused experiment that I conducted at home, and you can too! This activity demonstrates the importance of personal hygiene and good cleanliness!

I bought a bacteria growing kit from Kitchen Chemistry on Ebay and you can find more about conducting such experiments from here and here.

The kit I purchased contains nutrient agar, petri dishes, and sterile inoculation loops. Following the instructions, I heated the nutrient agar and distributed the solution between petri dishes. I labelled the dishes and left the solution to set. To avoid contamination I used one inoculation loop per surface swabbed. I swabbed a variety of things, including my phone, my Snowy toy dog, and even my bellybutton. With each contaminated inoculation loop, I rubbed it lightly in a zigzag motion over the agar. Another thing to add is to be careful not to leave the lid off for too long, as the dish might get contaminated by airborne particles.

Next, I sealed the lids with tape, popped them in a cardboard box and left them in a warm place to encourage them to grow.

In only a few days, I noticed some major changes to a couple of the petri dishes!

Bacteria Dishes

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LOOK AT THE BELLYBUTTON PETRI DISH!!! I’m amazed and aghast at the same time! The same goes for my phone too!

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Now let me clarify that I am a CLEAN person. I shower daily, always wash my hands, etc. But I never thought to clean my bellybutton! I did read in one study, that scientists swabbed sixty belly buttons and identified one thousand four hundred and fifty-eight new species of bacteria! One volunteer’s belly button held bacteria that had only been found in soil from Japan, where the volunteer had never been!

It’s safe to say that I have since paid special attention to cleaning my bellybutton and my mobile phone.

As for the other petri dishes there either has been tiny changes or no noticeable changes. I will continue to grow the bacteria and share with you the future findings!

There are harmful bacteria out there that can make us ill, so it is important to practice good hygiene, cook food thoroughly, and overall maintain a clean environment. However, there are also friendly and useful bacteria that perform important functions in our bodies and in the world. For example, there are bacteria in our large intestines that break down food our bodies can’t digest, allowing our intestines to absorb the nutrients from our food. Furthermore, we use bacteria to turn milk into a variety of dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt.

I hope you enjoyed this post on growing bacteria. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to get future updates! Furthermore, you can pre-order a copy of Microbes at Waterstones, Amazon or through my publishers, Thunderstone Books.

Until next time!
Amy