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Using yogurt fermentation as a tool for hands-on investigation of microbiology.

Presented by:

Tatiana Kuzmenko, Loyola Marymount University

We have developed a group research project-based activity designed to introduce students to concepts of Microbiology and scientific thinking. The activity doesn't require any special equipment and suitable for remove lab.

Using yogurt fermentation as a tool for hands-on investigation of microbiology.


We have designed an interactive, inquiry-driven collaborative activity tailored for students with varying background in biology to investigate the concepts of Microbiology. Through this exercise, students learn the intricacies of yogurt fermentation, and then explore how different factors like temperature, substrate, and inoculant source can influence the process. Results are assessed both qualitatively, by examining characteristics such as smell and appearance, and quantitatively, using viscosity measurements. Students combine and analyze their data to present their conclusions orally. This activity can be performed in any part of the world, so it is suitable for remote labs and institutions lacking specialized equipment.


Hands-on, Remote Lab, Microbiology


Master the fundamentals of setting up experimental assays like yogurt fermentation while work aseptically.

Generate a hypothesis, design and execute an experiment considering the necessity of replicates and controls.

Collectively gather, analyze, interpret, and orally present the data relating the findings to the current scientific literature.

Hear it from the author:

Using yogurt fermentation as a tool for hands-on investigation of microbiology. Tatiana Kuzmenko, Loyola Marymount University
00:00 / 01:36

Audio Transcript:


Kuzmenko, T., Raetz-Vigon, J., & Willette, D. A. (2022). At-Home Yogurt Making to Investigate Microbiology Concepts: A Remote Biology Laboratory. The American Biology Teacher, 84(5), 290-296.
Brownell, S.E., Kloser, M.J., Fukami, T. & Shavelson, R. (2012). Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally based “cookbook” and authentic research-based courses on student lab experiences. Journal of College Science Teaching, 41, 36–45.
Pakpour, N. & Hussain, R. (2020). Deconstructing yogurt: A different method for understanding fermentation in an undergraduate microbiology laboratory setting. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 21(2), 52.

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