Unfold the Mystery of Mold
Students will practice the scientific method of developing a
hypothesis, researching it, testing it, and forming conclusions
based on research and test results. Their investigations will
help them better understand the conditions in which molds thrive.
- Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
Understands that questioning and open communication are integral
to the process of science (e.g., scientists often differ with
one another about the interpretation of evidence; scientists
acknowledge conflicting interpretations and work towards finding
evidence that will resolve the disagreement)
Knows that there is no fixed procedure called "the scientific
method," but that investigations involve systematic observations,
carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning,
and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations
Conducts a scientific investigation (e.g., formulates hypotheses,
executes investigations, interprets data, synthesizes evidence
into explanations, proposes alternative explanations for observations,
critiques explanations and procedures)
Uses appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze,
and interpret scientific data
Establishes relationships based on evidence and logical argument
(e.g., provides causes for effects)
Drama as a whole-models the process Kee goes through to solve
her problem while reinforcing the idea that controlling humidity/moisture
levels (especially in warm climates) can help prevent mold and
data, hypothesis, humidity, mold, monitoring, temperature
One 30-minute class period to set up experiment. Several minutes
each day for a week for students to record data. One 30-minute
class period to discuss conclusions.
Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. But what conditions
are most favorable for mold spores to reproduce? In this activity,
students will grow bread mold under several different environmental
conditions where the variables include temperature and moisture
levels. Before the experiment, students will be asked to form
a hypothesis about the best conditions for growing mold. After
the mold-growing experiment, students will form their conclusions
and present their results to the class.
- Plastic bags with zipper seals
- Reproduce and distribute the Unfolding
the Mystery of Mold worksheet to students.
Divide students into small groups of three or four.
Instruct each group to label three plastic bags with the
letters A, B, and C and put a piece of bread in each bag.
Have students seal bag A and put it in a dark place.
Seal bag B and place it in the refrigerator.
Have students put several drops of water in bag C, seal it
tightly, and put it in a dark place.
Give students a few minutes each day to monitor their bread
samples and record any changes in the way the food looks on
their data charts.
After about a week, invite groups to present their observations
and conclusions to the class.