Category Archives: Volunteering

Call for Volunteers – 2nd Grade Microbiome Workshop

UB’s Genomics, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence (GEM) is sponsoring “Mind your Microbiome Week” from November 14-18.  This is a week filled with events and activities for people of all ages, including visits to area second grade classrooms to educate the students about microbes and microbiomes.  GEM is seeking volunteers to participate in two classrooms visits, one week apart, of approximately 1 hour each and attend a 1 hour training session.

Time Commitments and Workshop Layout:

  • 2 Tuesdays, November 8th and 15th
  • 2 Wednesdays, November 9th and 16th
  • 2 Thursdays, November 10th and 17th

It is preferable if you are able to participate in both weekly visits, but you are certainly welcome to volunteer for only one visit.

  • Training session – 1 hour, during the week of October 31.
    • Locations:  1 session on North Campus or 1 on South campus
  • Classroom Visit #1 – approximately 1 hour on November  8, 9, or 10
    • Locations: Buffalo Public Schools #67 (Discovery) and #89 (Lydia T Wright), and Sweet Home Central Schools
    • Read the book, “Tiny:  The Invisible World of Microbes”
    • Show pictures of microbes under the microscope
    • Introduce the concept that there are microscopic communities on our bodies, called microbiomes and that these microbes are helpful to our health.  Discuss that different parts of our body have different microbial communities (microbiomes).  So, what is on our head differs from the microbes in our armpit or arm.
    • Lead the students through taking swabs of their head and forearm and streaking those swabs on a petri dish.  The students are then able to choose two more places they would like to investigate.  These may be other body parts, or locations in the classroom.
    • Collect all of the plates to be brought back to UB for incubation over the next week.
  • Classroom Visit #2 – approximately 1 hour on November 15, 16, or 17
    • Location:  Same as above
    • Review the concepts of microbes and microbiome
    • Discuss that microbes are all different shapes, sizes and textures
    • Return the plates to the student
    • Aid the students in completing a simple lab report of their observations.
    • Lead the students in using various craft supplies to create a model of their own, custom microbe

If you are interested in participating, or would like to learn more, please contact Dr. Sandra Small at or 888-4851.


Dental Volunteer Opportunities Available

The Dental Office at Good Neighbors has clinical volunteer opportunities available.  Pre-Dental students can work chairside with volunteer dentists and staff.  They learn not only clinical skills, but infection control procedures, instrument identification and general office procedures.  Student volunteers are encouraged to network among themselves to share strategies and suggestions as well as with local dentists. This is truly a unique opportunity as students become a critical part of operations.  Students are asked to make a commitment of time per semester as well as complete the volunteer application process.

The Dental Office at Good Neighbors is affiliated with Harvest House (  at their Jefferson Avenue location. It was established ten years ago and serves patients Monday evenings, Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons.

Students with a serious interest and the time to share can contact the Dental Coordinator, Lynn, at