MICROBIAL OBSERVATORYUniversity of Puerto Rico at Humacao

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Other Education & Outreach Programs

School Workshops

As part of our main educational goals a series of workshops are conducted to k-12 students from schools of Humacao, Mayagüez and Ponce Educative Regions.  In these workshops the students are introduce to the Geomicrobiology science field and to the Cabo Rojo Salterns Microbial Observatory as they actively participate in selected hands on activities. 

Press to download an Activity Handout for elementary school students (PDF, Spanish).

A total of 171 students from the Educative Region of Humacao were impacted by this effort. Schools visited during 2006:





Total number of students impacted

March 17, 2006

Villa Humacao Elementary School

5th Grade (two groups)


March 23, 2006

Rufino Vigo Elementary School

5th Grade (three groups)


March 30, 2006

Rivera Ufret Middle School

8th Grade


April 20, 2006

Petra Mercado High School

10th Grade


April 21, 2006

Ana Roque High School

10th Grade



Check out these cool pictures of Rivera Ufret Middle School students participating in the workshop (March 30, 2006).  The students had the opportunity to work with green layer's samples of the microbial mats as well as to cultivate microorganisms in Petri dishes.


These photos are published with the previous authorization of the student’s parents.



Visits to the Geomicrobiology lab.

We encourage group of students to visit our Geomicrobiology laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus.  During the visit the students will have the opportunity to learn about our on going research and the tools we use to carry them on.  Please call 787-850-9494 or 850-0000 ext. 9162 to make arrangements for your visit.


On September 21, 2005 Dr. Lilliam Casillas received the visit of three high schools from the Educative Region of Humacao as part of the Biotechnology Day celebration.  During that day Amgen sponsored the activity entitled "Passport to Excellence" in which students were acquaint with the opportunities and challenges that industrial biotechnology has to offer to the future professionals of Puerto Rico.  UPR-Humacao undergraduate student, Lorraine D. Rodríguez, act as a mime while tough students basic laboratory techniques.


High School students learn laboratory techniques with the mime (Lorraine D. Rodríguez).

Learning the electrophoresis technique.

Students from Ana Roque High School, Humacao.

High School student receiving her Passport to Excellence ID card.

Puertorrican candies with websites about extraterrestrial life.

Filling samples to be loaded in the gels.

A lab full of potential geomicrobiologists.

Looking at the Cabo Rojo Salterns Microbial Observatory poster at the laboratory entrance.



On Februrary 10, 2006 a group of students from Urban High School in Patillas guided by her teacher Tania M. Lebrón visited Dr. Lilliam Casillas laboratory to learn about current research in Geomicrobiology.  After an interesting talk given by Dr. Casillas the students enjoyed pressing their hands in Petri dishes gel to grow microorganisms.  The Petri dishes were sealed so that microorganisms did not accidentally escape from the culture media.  The students were very enthusiastic about the activity and express their interest to receive a talk about Geomicrobiology at their school.

On June 9, 2006 we received the visit of aprox. 18 students from the UPR-H Upward Bound Program.  Both Beatriz Hernández, Educational Coordinator, and undergraduate student Lorraine Rodríguez give a brief talk and a lab tour to the students.  They learned about the Cabo Rojo Saleterns Microbial Observatory and about the research done in the geomicrobiology lab.  Some of the students commented about their interest to continue toward a bachellor degree in science at UPR-Humacao in the near future.

Four students from Florencia García High School visited today, October 24, 2006, our lab. to have an idea about the type of research experience they could have if they apply to a B.S. in Microbiology here at UPR-Humacao.  They were very much impress of our work and left with a good idea of what Geomicrobiology is all about.  The students were invited by Prof. Wanda Rodríguez from UPR-Humacao.


Educational Activity: Microorganisms Associated to Fuerte San Felipe del Morro

With the objective to cultivate and characterize some of the microorganisms present in the walls of Fuerte San Felipe del Morro an educational activity Microorganisms Associated to Fuerte San Felipe del Morro was held on November 3, 2006.  The activity was coordinated by the Cabo Rojo Salterns Microbial Observatory and Mrs. Egda Morales, science teacher from the Gabriela Mistral High School.  A total of 21 students participated in this activity.  Press to read the full report of the activity


Press to see the activity Student Handout.





Web page designed by Beatriz Hernández Machado

Updated by Cyd Marie Castro Rojas

Last revision October 2007