Phenotypic analysis of Neurospora crassa knockout (KO) mutants was used as a vehicle to introduce students to laboratory research. The availability of gene deletion strains was the impetus for the development of a program designed to introduce beginning science students to basic microbiology, genetics, microscopy and beginning bioinformatics. The goal was to provide a research experience, acquire laboratory skills and phenotype hundreds of KO mutants. The data provided by the students was used to build a phenotype database at the Broad Institute at Harvard/MIT for the fungal scientific community. Each mutant analysis consists of five assays that examine growth and morphology, asexual and sexual development using wild-type (parental) strains as a reference. This information indicates how loss of each gene impacts these basic and important processes.