Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Farm Detectives: Microorganisms & Disease

Get hands-on with microorganisms and stop the spread of dangerous bacteria that are making our farm animals sick.

Learning Level: P6 - P7 (upper primary)

Location: Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus, EH25 9RG.

Minimum attendance: 16 (if your group falls below the minimum, we may be able to group you with another school)

Maximum attendance: 33

Duration: 4 hours

Times: 10am - 2pm

Cost: £4 per pupil


Tue 7 May Wed 15 May
Wed 8 May Thu 16 May
Thu 9 May Tue 21 May
Tue 14 May Wed 22 May

Make a booking enquiry now!

Workshop Description

Get hands-on with microorganisms and stop the spread of dangerous bacteria that are making our farm animals sick. You will learn what microorganisms are, how some of them can make us ill and what we can do to stop the spread of disease.

This workshop includes a free science kit that will be sent to your school before your visit, with instructions and full lesson plan, for you to carry out a "Swab my School" investigation with your class. 


We were welcomed warmly to the beautiful new facility, it was a treat to be able to access such a fantastic space and all the scientific equipment. Our teacher for the day was very lovely and very informative and we also thoroughly enjoyed interviewing a real scientist. The hands on experiments and the examination of Daisy [the cow] made us feel like real scientists.

Primary 7 TeacherBiggar

Learning objectives

  • To understand that microorganisms:

    • are very small living things
    • can be beneficial or harmful
    • exist as many different types
  • To describe how infectious and disease causing microorganisms can spread
  • To investigate how the spread of infection and disease causing microorganisms can be stopped and/or prevented
  • To reveal the world of work in scientific research

Workshop activities

  • Carry out a real-microbiology investigation (pre-visit: you will be sent a microbiology kit and instructions) 
  • Using microscopes to examine and identify different microorganisms
  • Hands-on disease spread activity
  • Critical thinking group activity to identify the source of a salmonella outbreak
  • Discussion with scientists from The Roslin Institute 

Curriculum links

Planet Earth
Biological systems
Topical science
Biodiversity and interdependence
Body systems and cells
Topical science
I can identify and classify examples of living things, past and present, to help me appreciate their diversity. SCN 2-01A

By investigation of some body systems and potential problems which they may develop, I can make informed descisions to help me to maintain my health and wellbeing. SCN 2-12a

Through research and discussion I have an appreciation of the contribution that individuals are making to scientific discovery and invention and the impact this has made on society. SCN 2-20b

Developing the Young Workforce  

This workshop supports the following "I can" statements: 

  • “I can discuss the relevance of skills to the wider world and make connections between skills and the world of work.” 

  • “I can explain to others my ambitions/what I would like to do and look for ways to achieve them/that.” 

  • “I believe I can maximise my potential in any type of work.” 

Downloadable Resources

Risk Assessment
Workshop Description
Pre-Visit Presentation


Hands on experience using scientific equipment including the microscopes. The problem solving farm game. Learning about the different types of micro-organisms, the proper names for everything, how infection is spread and "Daisy" making it relevant and accessible to younger children.

Primary School Teacher