Keegan Cooke and Kevin Rand: Harnessing the Magic of Microbes

Magical Microbes' MudWatt kit

Magical Microbes' MudWatt kit

If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.

In high school, Keegan Cooke and Kevin Rand found ways to make physics class fun — with a little help from their teacher, who taught them how to build a potato cannon after hours. The rest, they say, is history.

Keegan Cooke and Kevin Rand

Keegan Cooke and Kevin Rand

As grown-ups, the two longtime friends combine education and entertainment to teach kids about microorganisms (like bacteria). Their Magical Microbes kits introduce children to the unseen world of microorganisms that surrounds us through engaging, accessible experiments. Their mission? To inspire a lifelong love of STEM.

MudWatt, for example, gets kids acquainted with the concept of bio-energy: by adding soil and other materials to the MudWatt box, soil-dwelling bacteria begin to generate enough electricity to power a blinking LED. And DoughLab explains the properties of yeast and gluten by letting kids experiment with bread recipes (and race to inflate a glove using “the power of yeast”).

Cooke and Rand designed their kits to inspire that “wow” moment in children — the moment when “eyes and minds expand,” and “the natural world suddenly looks more complex and exciting.”

“The thing that keeps our company’s fire going is the encouraging emails we get,” they say. “Our kits have helped kids win science fairs, explore the world, consider STEM careers, and have fun.

And that’s precisely what Magical Microbes want to hear. After all, if it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.

Learn more about the hidden world of microorganisms — back for your own Magical Microbes kit here.