Useful resources

52Microorganisms Open Source Project

Across 2019 and the start of 2020, each week for 52 weeks we produced a short informative video about a microorganism: the #52Microorganisms video series. We shared these videos through our social media channels and recorded metrics on their impact.

Via social media these videos were viewed nearly 90,000 times, with the social media posts reaching over 500,000 devices. The most well watched video so far has been Magnetospirillum, closely followed by Helicobacter pylori (as of Feb 2020).

To give people permanent access to these videos for education and outreach, we have hosted them in a cloud folder. Please feel free to download, share, and remix as widely as possible.

Click the link to access the folder: Access the 52Microorganisms files

The folder contains all the video files, the assets used to make each video, and an overview document with additional information and data on each microorganism video. Instructions are provided, along with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Preimere Pro template files, to show you how to start making similar videos with you own video clips, images, and text.

Created by Joseph B. Shuttleworth

Educational activities using the 52Microorganisms:

We have also put together some educational uses for these videos. These educational activities are intended for use by teachers of high school students with an interest in biology (ages 15-18 depending on ability) and first year university students.

Activity 1: Competitive Trading

  • send each student in a year group a different video file (up to 52 students)
  • challenge the group to trade the videos files on their phones via messaging, with the aim they have to collect the whole set you’ve given out
  • allow them 1 week to do this
  • the first student to show you a complete collection wins a prize – they must also explain which is their favourite microbe to you and give 3 reasons reasons why


Activity 2: Collaborative Presentations

  • provide all the videos files to the students in a year group
  • inform the group they will need to give a 2 – 3 minute presentation on their favourite microorganism from this list (either individual presentations, or you can group the students)
  • each student / group must put together a presentation on a different microorganism and inform you which one they have chosen – picking one to research will be first come first serve
  • they must also present some new information about the microorganism that was not in the video (i.e. they will need do some of their own research)
  • allow them a set time frame to prepare their presentations with a firm delivery date
  • the group then present their favourite microbes to each other


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