The purpose of this lab is to recognize that the answers to some of society's industrial challenges may lie right in our own backyards. Learners discover how to select protein-digesting bacteria from various soil samples. After isolating the colonies, learners are then encouraged to investigate ways to test the effectiveness of their specimens in breaking down protein stains on clothing. This activity demonstrates how bacteria with specific enzymatic capabilities can be isolated with a simple microbiology technique. Adult supervision recommended.