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Interactive Microbiology and Foundations of Scientific Practice Homepage

Interactive Microbiology and Foundations of Scientific Practice Homepage

Welcome to the Stanford Online Mini Course Interactive Microbiology and Foundations of Scientific Practice. In this course you will learn about some fascinating phenomena at the microscopic living world - and at the same time practice the key aspects of the scientific method.

From this page, you can link to the different sessions available using the buttons below. These sessions will be available for a limited period, but if the session you select has ended, feel free to join the next available session.

Also note that the total number of participants is restricted for each session to 400. If a session is already full - please try to sign up for another one. And we plan to offer more courses in August and September - in case you do not get into the course this time.



About This Course

This is a mini-course with short identical week-long course sessions that will give you a firsthand experience on how microscopic single celled organisms can propel themselves through water and detect light - and then ultimately swim towards or away from this light source. At the same time you will learn and practice the key components of the scientific method.

The goals of these course sessions are three fold:

(1) Become fascinated by the wonders of these small organisms and the world they live in - features that are usually hidden from the naked eye.

(2) Gain a quantitative understanding of how a microscopic cell can propel itself through water, how it can sense light, and how it then can swim towards or away from the light. You will learn how these activities are enabled by some cellular building blocks ("organelles"). You will also explore interactive models that help you understand how all these parts work together to achieve a robust light response behavior.

(3) Be (or become) a scientist and practice the essential components of the scientific method! Perform your own investigations, observe, analyze your data - and draw your conclusions. These skills translate to many other scientific projects you may undertake in the future.


There are no special requirements to take this course. We expect some curiousity about biology and interest to perform some simple data analysis. You need to work with (the freely available) "google spreadsheets" (or a similar data processing program like MS Excel).

Course Staff

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse

Assistant Professor Bioengineering Stanford


Zahid Hossain

Graduate Student Bioeningeering and Computer Science


Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the sessions be available?

Each session will run for one week. You can enroll in them during that time. Sessions will become inactive and archived after they are run.

Do the course sessions include the ability to earn a Statement of Accomplishment?

Yes, it is possible to earn a Statement of Accomplishment. You will need to complete graded assignments in the course with a total passing score of 50% or higher.

Do you have an attendance limit - and what should I do if the course is already full?

Yes - we do have a limit of how many participants we can accommodate in any give course offering, i.e., session (set between 100 to 800 at a time). If your first choice is already full - then sign up for another session. And we plan to make more sessions that start in late August and throughout September.

  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

  3. Estimated Effort

    4 hours
  4. Price


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