Outsmart the sinister JavelWater

Clientele: 9 to 12 years old

Type of resource

Online activity to do at school or at home.

Requires speakers and Flash software (can be downloaded free of charge)

Printable version of this page

Online activity - Outsmart the sinister JavelWater (PDF 144 Ko)


  • Help students to become aware of the importance of the role of microorganisms in their environment.
  • Help students to become aware of the importance of the role of microorganisms for their own health.
  • Apply the scientific method to solve a problem.

Description of the resource

The student is presented with a dramatic situation scenario involving mainly microorganisms that are useful to humans, and is asked to solve an enigma. The student follows the scientific method and thinks of a hypothesis that could explain the enigma. He then proceeds to collect information that will allow him to validate or invalidate his hypothesis. He can thus formulate a conclusion.

Steps of the scientific method

  • Observation or situation scenario
  • Problem or question
  • Formulation of a hypothesis
  • Experimentation or collection of data
  • Data processing or results
  • Conclusion

Situation scenario

Last week, Dr. Alvir Champrobacter, the Institute’s eminent microbiologist, was kidnapped by a crazy scholar: Professor JavelWater! Obsessed with hygiene and thinking that uncleanliness is the cause of the existence of all microorganisms, Professor JavelWater wants Dr. Champrobacter to invent a machine that will destroy ALL microorganisms living on Earth!!! To be freed, Dr. Champrobacter must convince Professor JavelWater that his wish is fatal for all living beings, not only for the microorganisms...

Places to explore to collect clues

Each of the following rooms contains clickable areas. Three of the areas will give the student information to answer the questions. The other clickable areas contain complementary information.

Here is the list of various clickable areas for each room:

In Alvir’s laboratory, we find:

  • the microscope,
  • the vortex mixer,
  • the Petri dish,
  • the aquarium,
  • test tubes filled with soil,
  • a flower pot,
  • a beaker of ice cubes,
  • a beaker of boiling water,
  • a file on the biological treatment of water,
  • a file on the biological treatment of gases.

In Alvir’s office, we find:

  • a framed photograph of Bessie, the cow,
  • a file on insulin,
  • a file on diabetes,
  • a vial of medication,
  • a message on the answering machine.

In the kitchenette, we find:

  • a soap dispenser,
  • a poster,
  • a radio,
  • a cheese sandwich,
  • a container of yogurt,
  • cheese,
  • bread yeasts,
  • containers of kefir.

Conclusion of the investigation

Having chosen the hypothesis and collected the clues (by answering the questions in each of the rooms), the student must go back and see Professor JavelWater. Depending on the student’s answers, Alvir will be freed or will have to finish the machine to destroy all microorganisms!

Education programs

For links with education programs, consult the document Online activity - Outsmart the sinister JavelWater (PDF 144 Ko)

Link to the resource

Go to Outsmart the sinister JavelWater in the Games section of Micro-Discoveries Online.