Nobody likes to pick up a piece of fruit or a slice of bread and find mold growing on it. Growing your own mold, intentionally, can be a lot of fun, though! In this simple activity, you can show your middle school student how to grow mold, and also help him or her understand precisely where mold comes from, and what conditions are needed to cultivate it.
Take three plastic baggies, and fill each with a small piece or two of bread. Then take the first bag, add a few drops of water to the bread, and place it in a dark part of your home. Place the second bag in the refrigerator, and the third bag outside, where it will get some sun. Check back each day to see whether any mold has sprouted; while you wait for results, have your student formulate a hypothesis about which piece of bread will grow mold first—and why!
Use our science worksheets to document what they think the outcome in each case will be.
All you need for this activity are three pieces of bread, three seal-able plastic baggies, and a little bit of water.
You will likely find that mold develops in more than one of these baggies, but possibly at different rates, and to different extents. This activity will provide a great opportunity for you to talk with your child about where mold comes from—what conditions are needed for it to grow, and how it can ultimately be avoided when it’s not wanted!