Holy Moldy! Bread Mold Experiments for the Young Minds
Have you seen mold growth on bread? It is outright gross, right?
You must be wondering why we are talking about germs and mold today.
Well, here are some cool science experiments you can try out by using bread.
So what exactly is mold?
Mold is a microscopic, living organism in the Fungi kingdom, related to yeast and mushrooms. Although it can be harmful if handled incorrectly, mold is not a bacteria or virus. In the first stage of its life cycle, mold lays dormant as a spore, a reproductive structure that is similar to the seeds of plants. When these spores find a warm, moist, nutrient-rich environment they set up a colony, mature and produce more spores. That?s the growth that you see on your food trillions of mold spores.
These spores are a constant part of our environment, but they rarely cause health problems. People with sensitive respiratory or immune systems may have an allergic reaction to these background levels of spores.
Here are some fun experiments you can do with bread molds.
? Before you engage in any of these experiments seek the permission of an adult in charge.
? Inform everyone in the house to not go near the experiments or consume them.
? Keep it away from any house pets.
? Keep it away from other consumable items.
? After every experiment, you will need to throw the slice of bread and the plastic bags and containers used, even if you do not see any mold. Remember mold is not always visible to the eyes.
1. Things You?ll Need for the experiment:
Bread, water, plastic zipper bag, tape, marker, book, pen and a phone with a camera.
? Sprinkle water on a slice of bread.
? Put the bread in the plastic bag and seal it with tape.
? Label the bag with the start date.
? Place this in your balcony or some place outside of the house where it will be undisturbed for 7 days.
? Track the growth of your mold by checking on it daily.
? Take a photograph on each day and make a note about the size and color of the mold growth.
? Once you?ve completed the experiment, throw away the sealed bag containing the moldy bread. You do not want to be around when the bag opens. Inhaling mold spores is harmful.
Make a note of your observations over the 7-day period. What changes did you observe each day? What is the end result? What is your conclusion?
Conclusion Hint: Mold loves to grow in warm, moist places and will eat just about anything organic.
2. Things You?ll Need for the experiment:
3 slices of bread, water, 3 plastic zipper bags, disposable tray, tape, marker, book, pen and a phone with a camera.
? Label the plastic bags ?Dry,? ?Moist? and ?Wet? to write the start date on the bags.
? Place a slice of bread into the plastic bag marked ?Dry? without wetting it.
? On the second slice of bread, sprinkle it with water and put the bread in the plastic bag labelled ?Moist?.
? Submerge the third slice of bread in a bowl of water and place the slice into the bag labelled ?Wet?.
? Close and seal all three plastic bags with tape.
? Place the bags on a disposable tray.
? For 10 days you will need to store these three bags outside the house.
? Take pictures daily and make notes about the size and color of the mold on each slice of bread.
? Throw it away once the experiment is complete.
Conclusion Hint: So what did you find? does the moisture affect mold growth? Among the slices you experimented with, which ones grew mold fastest and which least?