How Does Mold Grow?
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This experiment uses 4 samples to test what conditions mold grow the best in. Depending on the age of the child(ren) you can use only 2 or 3 samples instead of all 4.
What you need:
- bread (4 slices)
- saran wrap (or some other air tight covering)
- 1 to 2 weeks of experiment time
- Optional: Magnifying glass
- Optional: Molds Printable Information Sheet
- Optional: Molds Printable Activity Sheets (page
1) (page 2) (page
3) (page 4)
- I prefer to print page 1 as many times as the children need. They can mark the date and sample number on each page. This allows them to draw the results.
- But, it is a fair amount of work, so you may prefer to use Pages 2 thru 4 instead so they can just jot down what they see, perhaps using page 1 on the last day of the experiment.
Molds will develop on some of the samples.
Molds grow best in warm, dark and moist conditions.
In the first sample, the sealed bread should develop mold more slowly than the unsealed bread.
In the second sample, the bread kept in darkness should develop mold more quickly than the bread kept in light.
In the third sample, the moist bread will develop mold more quickly than the dry bread.
In the fourth sample, the mold in the warm place should develop mold more quickly than the bread in the cold place.
Questions to Ask:
- Where and how should bread be stored to keep it free from molds?
- What other foods do you think might grow molds if left exposed?
- What are some ways that people use to preserve their food?
- someplace sealed, in the refrigerator, in the light, someplace dry, someplace cool
- cheese, oranges, tomatoes, lemons, onions, used coffee grounds, potatoes (determining what foods mold the best can be an entirely different experiment!)
- refrigerator, artificial preservatives, natural preservatives like vinegar and salt, tupperware