These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Investigating the Antibacterial Properties of Plants

In this resource, students investigate the antibacterial properties of plants. Their investigation is placed in the context of a case study of Julian Ma, Professor of Molecular Immunology and joint head of the Infection and Immunity Research Centre at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London.

Julian specialises in ‘pharming’ – the production of medicines by plants. In particular, he hopes that his work will enable people to produce medicines at a lower cost than traditional methods, allowing them to become available to many millions of people across the world. 

Students read the case study and watch the video about Julian's medical research, and then carry out a practical using the disc diffusion method, testing various plants to see if they make chemicals which have antimicrobial properties.

The video of Julian Ma is available online here

This resource includes full teachers' notes, foundation, higher, extension and plenary activities, a case study, a students' worksheet and technical notes for the practical.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category One Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.