Balloon Bugs

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In this activity, learners make balloon models of disease-causing bacteria. This activity provides a fun and hands-on way of learning about the shape and structure of bacteria and also introduces the concept of bacteria as disease-causing organisms. This activity is supported by an educator's presentation and presentation notes. Safety note: before running the activity, check whether any of the learners have latex allergies. If there are any learners with latex allergies provide alternative craft materials such as cotton wool balls, large polystyrene balls or toilet rolls and craft paper.

Quick Guide

  • Preparation Time: 10 to 30 minutes
  • Learning Time: 10 to 30 minutes
  • Estimated materials cost: $5 - $10 per group of students
  • Age Range: Ages 6 - 18
  • Language: English

Materials List (per group of students)


Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
      • Classification
      • Biodiversity
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition

To use this activity learners need to

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Components that are part of this resource


Francesca Gale; Christine Hale; Alex Bennett; Preeti Deshpande


Creative Commons Attribution (by), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,



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