Help Select the Official State of Ohio Microbe
Students in the Department of Biology and Earth Science at Otterbein University are teaming up with the Department of Political Science and History, and the Department of Communication to propose that the State of Ohio have an official microbe. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the week of 10/22, MicrOhio will release the “candidate” microbes for you to get to know who they are and what they do. Then during the week of Nov. 5, you can vote on your favorite microbe. Political Science students will write a proposal, pitching the winning microbe to the State as the official microbe of Ohio.

Follow MicrOhio on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to meet the microbes and to vote for your candidate next month!

UPDATE:  Voting is now open! Go to to cast your vote and help pick our state microbe!

A Guide to the Project

What is MicrOhio?

MicrOhio is the project name for finding the official state microbe of Ohio. Just like we have an official state plant, animal and even a state fossil, the idea of this project is to designate an official state microbe. This project began as a service learning project in Dr. Jennifer Bennett’s microbiology course at Otterbein University and now includes many student organizations on campus and a multi-disciplinary team of students and faculty.

What is a Microbe?

A microbe is an organism that is not visible to the unaided eye. Examples of microbes include bacteria, yeast and algae, among others. The microbe chosen as the official State Microbe of Ohio will represent our entire state.

Why is this project important?

The project is designed to raise awareness of the importance of microbes and their impact on society. There are “bad” microbes, but many are beneficial and  needed in our everyday life.

When will a state microbe be chosen?

Six microbes were selected from candidates submitted by microbiology students at Otterbein University. The Candidate Microbes will be introduced one at a time from October 22 – November 2 using social media. A public vote will then take place in a “Microbe Election” between November 5th and November 10th. Once the winning microbe has been “elected,” a team of Otterbein political science students will write the legislation for the Ohio government and finish the process of having the microbe named as the official state microbe of Ohio.

How can I get involved?

Anyone in Ohio can follow the project on social media and help spread the word. You can represent Ohio by voting in the Microbe Election (even if you are not old enough to vote in the Ohio Midterm Elections). Teachers can follow this project in their science and/or social studies classroom and have their students vote.