McMurry Fantasy Microbiology League


McMurry Fantasy Microbiology League

The McMurry Fantasy Microbiology League (FML) is sponsored by Intuitive Systems, Abilene Pediatric Dental Associates, Chick-fil-A, and McMurry University.

What is the Fantasy Microbiology League?  FML is a competition for high school students using VirtualUnknown™ Microbiology (VUMIE) software to identify simulated unknown bacteria. VUMIE is a microbiology software simulation used by colleges and health professions schools world-wide.  The software may be installed on as many computers as desired, and any student with a VUMIE account can begin or continue their work on virtual unknowns on any computer with the software - at home or school.  VUMIE and FML are free for high school students competitors.

THIS Fall 2017, we will hold a special Fantasy Micro Tournament for high school students.  During this time, students will receive a series of unknown bacteria to identify with the software, earning fantasy points for each unknown they identify with bonus points for efficiency and accuracy of their work.  Points are deducted for errors and completion of unnecessary identification tests.  Once a student "gets the hang of it", an unknown can be completed in well under an hour at home or school.  Thanks to our generous sponsors, there is no cost for the software or for participating in the tournament.

How does it work?  Students can sign up for the December tournament by sending an email request to before Thanksgiving.  They will receive their software licenses and instructions for activating their software and attaching their VUMIE account to the tournament.  Play around and learn the software and get some practice identifying unknowns to prepare for the tournament.  

After Thanksgiving, special instructions will be sent to all participating students, and tournament play will begin December 1st.  During the tournament, participants will receive two simulated unknown organisms to identify each week, for a total of four unknowns before December 15th. Work can be done at home or at school if permitted. Clever students can complete an ID in less than an hour, simulating processes normally taking several days.  

The Commissioner will also offer a “Hail Mary” each week to allow extra points to be earned.   Regular updates will alert participants of their rankings among all participants, and top performers will be invited to compete in a special VUMIE Micro Bowl championship game on December 18th. Winners will be announced December 20th.  Students are competing for thousands of dollars in (1) scholarships and (2) prizes such as GoPros, Fitbits, and other cool stuff.  Teachers and schools sponsoring winning students will receive the VUMIE Trophy and scientific equipment for their classrooms.  

Contact Information

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For More Information On Biology Programs Contact

Dr. Larry Sharp, Student Relations
Department of Biology
McMurry University
Abilene, Texas 79697-0368