How to Make Homemade Petri Dishes

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Petri dishes are shallow dishes used in science experiments usually to grow bacteria or fungus. These experiments are often used to demonstrate to students what grows in the human mouth or under your fingernails. There is often an underlying message encouraging children to brush their teeth or wash their hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain gelatin
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Beef bouillon granules or cubes
  • Foil muffin or cupcake pan cups
  • Muffin pans
  • Ziploc bags
  • Sauce pan and stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Measuring spoons
  • Be sure that all utensils that will be used are sterilized. Place the muffin cups in the muffin pans without touching the inside of any of the papers.

  • Mix 4 packages of gelatin, 4 cups of cold water, 8 tsp. sugar, 4 tsp. bouillon or 4 cubes in a sauce pan. Slowly bring these ingredients to a boil while continually stirring. Poor the hot mixture into the muffin papers until about half full.

  • Cool until the gelatin mixture is solid. Protect the mixture from any contaminants during the cooling process.

  • Once cool, place each cup liner into a fresh Ziploc baggie. Continue to be careful not to touch the inside of the muffin papers or the mixture itself. Keep the individually packaged petri dishes in the refrigerator until it is time to use them.

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