Ok, so, we are kind of bummed. In order for bacteria to grow, the petri dishes must be in a warm environment but that is causing them to "melt". So far, nothing is growing which isn't really unusual I guess since it can take 48 hours or more. Looking at the "before" swab last night, we thought we saw an area that looked promising. Just hoping it will hurry up and grow before the entire thing liquefies and ruins our experiment.
If you know of a good site with recipes for petri dishes, please share! We used unflavored gelatin, sugar, water, and beef bouillon in ours.
If this first experiment fails, we do have about 10 more petri dishes in the fridge. Looks like it might be back to the drawing board though.