Understanding Penicillin and Mold
Grade Levels: 3 - 5Excerpted from: Science Teacher's Almanac.
- Students will observe and record different growing conditions for mold.
- Students will draw a conclusion based on observations and knowledge.
- 6 empty baby food jars with lids
- 3 bread rolls made without preservatives
- 1 household sponge cut into 3 squares to fit bottom of 3 baby food jars
- paper plate
- cellophane tape
- pencil and paper to make labels
- plastic bag and twist-tie
- Mold Observation Chart
Put the three cut sponges in the bottom of three baby food jars.
Dampen the sponges with water until they are wet but not soaking.
Divide the three rolls into six equal parts, one for each jar. Put three pieces on top of the three wet sponges in the three baby food jars. Put the other three pieces of rolls into the remaining three baby food jars. Put the lids on top of all six jars.
Make labels for the six jars to indicate locations of the investigation. Pick one dark area (under the cabinet or in the closet); one sunny area (near the window); and one cool area (in an ice bucket or in the refrigerator but not the freezer). Write the location on the six jars. The jars will be placed in pairs, two jars in each of the three locations-one with a sponge and one without a sponge. Tape the labels to the jars.
Observe the jars for the next week. Look at the six jars every day and return them after observation.
Record your results on the Mold Observation Chart.
After completing the chart on the last day, remove the bread from each jar, using tongs if necessary. Observe the growth and appearance of the molds. Place the bread and the sponges in a plastic bag and tie it for your teacher to discard.
After completing the Mold Observation Chart answer this question: What conditions encouraged the most growth of mold?