Winogradsky ColumnCompiled by Sarah Bordenstein, Marine Biological Laboratory
The Winogradsky Column is an excellent activity, specifically for grades 5 - 12, to demonstrate the growth of microorganisms. As a result of this activity, students will:
- learn about the metabolic diversity of prokaryotes, applying terms such as phototroph, chemotroph, autotroph, andheterotroph.
- observe the cycling of mineral elements in natural environments, particularly sulfur.
- discover how microbes occupy a highly specific niche depending on environmental tolerance and energy requirements.
Schematic view of a typical Winogradsky Column. Image credit: Jim Deacon, University of Edinburgh
- Building a Winogradsky Column Video Demonstration. This five-minute Quick Time video demonstrates how to build a Winogradsky Column. The video is published by NASA Quest and can be used as a teaching supplement to... (more info)
- Building a Winogradsky Column: An Educator Guide with Activities in Astrobiology. This 27-page educator guide is a NASA Quest resource about Microbial Ecology and related Astrobiology activities. Students will construct a Winogradsky Column to observe... (more info)
- Soil, Desertification, and Farm Bills; Windogradsky Column Hotlist . This is an Internet hotlist on the Windogradsky column. Published by a high school teacher, it includes links to soil profiles, soil taxonomy, and Winogradsky Columns. ( This site may be offline. )
- The Microbial World: Winogradsky Column- Perpetual Life in a Tube. This Winogradsky column web page is designed to teach undergraduate students a simple model system of nutrient cycling in natural waters. It includes a physical... (more info)
- The Winogradsky Column: An Animated Tutorial. This five-minute animated tutorial describes Winogradsky columns. The tutorial shows how to create a Winogradsky Column, describes the various layers and types of microbes... (more info)
- Winogradsky Columns. This is an exercise about Winogradsky Columns with emphasis placed on the formation and properties of microbial biofilms. It includes background reference... ( This site may be offline. )
For more information about Winogradsky Columns, search the Microbial Life collection.