Lab Science Soap and Bacteria Lab


What is Soap?

  • Define: a substance used for washing or cleaning.
    • The SDA stands for Soap and Detergent Association.
    • Established in 1926, the SDA attempts to help the public understanding of the safety of cleaning products and help manufacturers formulate new products to consumer needs.
  • The process of making soap and analyzing its effectiveness uses the scientific method, scientific journals, medical laboratories, clinical trials, metrics, biology, and many more areas of science.
  • Soap must be regulated to ensure that the soap meets specific criteria before going to the marketplace.
    • Soap must be tested for environmental effects and human safety.
    • Articles must be written by the creator and the scientific team behind the soap to describe their environmental risks and the risks involved with the ingredients.
      • These articles must be peer reviewed.
  • Soap research today is focused on:
    • Septic systems and how the soap will affect these structures.
    • How the cleaning agents will affect the soil and environment.
    • How well the water can be reused after mixed with the soap.
    • How the soap affects human health.
  • Commercial and residential soaps must meet standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
      • Leads the nation’s efforts in environmental science.
      • Research and education to protect human health and the environment.
      • Created in 1970.
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
      • Responsible for protecting public health.
      • Assures the safety of human and animal drugs, medical devices, food supply, etc.
        • And soap!

Why Is Studying Soap Important?

  • Bacterial infections and viral infections are common to humans.
  • Cleaning techniques, procedures, and tools have helped increase the health of people all over the world.
    • Mad Cow
    • H1N1
  • Animal and bacterial cells have a cell membrane, not a cell wall.
    • Remember, the cell wall acts like a fluid.
    • It is made up of two layers, phospholipids.
  • Soaps are able to break down the cell membrane and kill the bacterial cell.
    • Soaps that contain antibacterial agents are effective too!
    • Soaps must stay on the skin long enough for the soap to do its job!
  • A soap or detergent has the ability to make water more attracted to stain.
    • Normally, water will not be attracted to oil.
    • Water and oil don’t mix.
    • If you spill oil on your clothing, soap allows the water to break down the stain!
      • Why is it important to clean linens and fabrics?

What is Our Lab About?

  • In our class, we will be looking at the effectiveness of five different kinds of soap and how well they are able to destroy living bacterial colonies.
  • We will need to look at:
    • What types of soaps we will use.
      • Liquid or bar soap?
      • Name brand or discount?
      • Hand washing or laundry detergent?
    • What kind of bacterial samples we will use?
    • How can we remain consistent in our testing?
  • Remember, every lab uses the scientific method!
    • What is the scientific method?
      • Observation
      • Asking Questions
      • Forming a hypothesis
      • Testing the hypothesis
      • Gathering data
      • Sharing your information

Asking Questions and Develop a Hypothesis:

  • You and your partner will need to decide what your hypothesis will be.
  • Your lab may be different than your neighbors and that’s OK!
  • What questions would you need to ask yourself in order to make sure that you are fully prepared for this lab?


  • Together as a class we will have a period of three to four days to test our hypotheses.
  • You will be required to make journal entries for each lab day.
    • Not only does biology do this, but you will do this to help keep track of your work.
    • If your lab goes awry, we can see what your last step was to help solve the problem.
  • To test bacterial samples, you will need to bring in something from your home that may be dirty.
    • Kitchen towels
    • Bathroom towels
    • Door mat
    • Textbook
    • Phone receiver
    • Video game controllers
    • Remote control
  • No matter what, each sample you test will need to be tested the same as the last.
  • Everyone will have a control group!
    • What is a control group?
    • How can we create one?
  • Make sure to write all of your findings down!

Reporting Data:

  • We will be writing a scientific journal that will summarize the work you have done in the lab.
  • The lab will need to include:
    • An introduction to the lab.
    • All of your materials and the steps you took to finish the lab.
    • A description of your results.
    • A discussion of your findings and why they are important.

To Do List:

– Develop a hypothesis.

– Bring all supplies to class.

– Work hard and be diligent!

– Follow the classroom rules.

 – Use the rubric to guide your paper. (Linked below)

Lab Science Soap and Bacteria Lab Report Rubric

– Turn in formal paper using this Google Doc Template

Lab Science Article Reviews


You and your team are to select one article to review.  Read it completely and write a paragraph about each bullet point below:

  •  Summarize the article in your own words (at least five complete sentences).
  • Discuss how the content in the article relates to our class discussions and could affect your life as an adult.  Provide a reaction to the article!
  • Describe at least three terms in this article that were new to you.  Apply them to class to help explain them in detail.

Only one group per article!  These articles show a random sampling of the theories surrounding climate change.  Feel free to read them all when you have time!

Article 1:

Article 2:

Article 3:

Article 4:

Article 5:

Hard Work Pays Off!

great-jobLab Science,

You’ve done a great job this unit on your notes and our discussions.  You will find the notes for the last two sections below (20.4/20.5).  Use these to help you with our games, homework, and test prep.  Save a copy into your Google Drive, hard drive, or print from a school printer.  Keep these safe!

Mr. Barth & Mrs. Zimmerman

Lab Science Chapter 20, Section 4 & 5 Notes (See Mr. Barth or Mrs. Zimmerman)


Mining Machines!

Have fun building your own mining machine!


Remember, these values will change over time!  We are using this lesson as a way to practice our math skills and review the concepts of our coal unit.  Let’s have a little fun and use our imagination.

Biology II: Fruit Fly Lab Templates

GradingFollow the links to access the template for your fruit fly lab report.

Fruit Fly Lab Manual (See Mr. Barth)

Google Doc Template (See Mr. Barth)

Fruit Fly Project Point Breakdown (See Mr. Barth)

Fruit Fly Paper Rubric (See Mr. Barth)

How You Can Use The Library (See Mr. Barth)