About us

Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project empowers biology educators to bring real-world scientific research into the classroom with inquiry, discovery, biotechnology, and a culture of excellence. Teachers and students will engage in hands-on research and contribute to the collection of scientific data within the Wolbachia research community. Through this immersive lab series, students will discover arthropod species in their local fauna; obtain DNA sequences of potentially new genetic strains of Wolbachia; and determine the evolutionary relatedness of these Wolbachia strains to other sequences published by scientists in the NCBI national genetic database.

The four core goals of this initiative are:

  1. Engage students in nature and real-world research
  2. Encourage international participation in the collection of new scientific data on bacterial endosymbionts (Wolbachia)
  3. Enhance student interest in science through an integrative lab series spanning biodiversity to molecular biology
  4. Give students an idea of what it’s like to be a scientist.


Discover the Microbes Within! would like to thank our sponsors past and present for helping to facilitate real-world research in the classroom.

Penn State Microbiome Center