Got some old bread in the fridge? Before you toss them in the trash, use them for mold science experiment. Let kids discover how mold grows on bread and teach them about the importance of keeping their hands clean as well.
STEM concept: Mold growth, hand hygiene
• slices of bread
• ziplock bags
• a marker
• hand sanitizer
• disposable plastic/surgical gloves
Steps to follow
1. Make sure you have all the necessary materials ready for the experiment. Wear gloves as you prepare the slices of bread and ziplock bags.
2. Label the ziplock bags with the preparation for the bread that will be put into them (ex. sanitizer, alcohol, soap).
3. Let your child touch one slice of bread with unclean hands (i.e. not cleaned with sanitizer, alcohol, or soap).
4. Place this slice of bread in the ziplock bag with the appropriate label.
5. Let your child touch the other slices of bread with hands cleaned with soap and water, alcohol, and sanitizer.
6. Place each slice of bread into the ziplock bag with the appropriate label.
7. Leave the bags in a dry place where they can stay undisturbed.
8. For 2–5 days, observe and watch if mold will grow on the slices of bread.
The science behind the experiment
Molds are a kind of fungi that grow in moist, dark places. Molds reproduce by releasing thousands of tiny spores. These spores can be spread in water, wind, and even on animals and people. Mold spores can attach and grow on bread, fruits, and other foods, and slowly eat them away. Molds can have negative effects on a person’s health. They can cause rashes, difficulty in breathing, or infections.
In addition to teaching children about how molds grow, this experiment will also teach children about the importance of washing our hands. Hand hygiene is very important in preventing diseases and keeping the entire family safe and healthy.