How to play Microbiology Scramble

Dr Zubeyde Bayram-Weston from Swansea University piloted the game of ‘Microbiology Scramble’ at The Swansea Science Festival in October 2019 – find out how you can use this game in your public engagement events!

How to play Microbiology Scramble

Microbiology Scramble is easy if you’ve ever played scrabble, and is a great way to get both children and adults to engage with microbiology. The premise is simple: each person has a number of tiles with letters on them (just like in scrabble) and takes turns playing microbiology words from a word bank, or to come up with their own – whoever gets rid of all their tiles first, wins! 

This activity invariably opens up the microbiology discussion. Most likely, people will want to know what some of the words in the word bank mean, or why the word they’ve made up does or doesn’t fit in the remit of Microbiology.

When this event was trialled at the Swansea Science Festival by Dr Zubeyde Bayram-Weston, it was a roaring success, with everyone who participated rating it as ‘Excellent’! Zubeyde also noted that many of the adults visiting her stand had burning questions about microbiology – especially about antibiotic resistance – so this event was a great way for her to connect to curious non-scientists who were attracted by the fun game.

See below for the full instructions banner provided by Dr Bayram-Weston – all you need to play this game are the tiles and a dice to decide who goes first!