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Growing mould?!


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My next theme is 'growing' and my children wanted to learn about how hot cross buns grow. I'm planning to do an adult let activity where we look at the effects of different temperatures of water on yeast but also had an idea but putting some slices of bread out in different conditions (damp, covered, open etc). and just leaving them to see what happened - we could have a diary where children record what they look like each day.

 

I'm assuming they'll grow mould and wondered what the H&S implications might be - would it actually be dangerous? I'll obviously do a risk assessment but thought it might be a genuinely interesting investigation and lead into opportunities for learning about safe storage of food.

 

Am I completely mad?!

 

PS Just noticed - my enter key finally works on FSF again - hurray for paragraphs!

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interesting though doesn't it take quite a while to grow? what about half eaten apple? watching the changes that occur to that, pretty instant as the pectin reacts and starts to turn brown

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Mold-Grow-on-Bread

 

http://explorable.com/mold-bread-experiment

 

try looking at science bob - always good for some investigative ideas

http://www.sciencebob.com/experiments/yeast.php

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Apple - thank you for the links! Love the blowing up a balloon one - will definitely be giving that a go! I don't know how long it takes to grow bread mould - might have my own mini experiment going at home to see although my classroom is much warmer than my house!

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make sure you don't have a bread with mould inhibitor in it... majority do these days.. Calcium propionate which is something few notice or even pay attention to, but has some nasty side effects, particularly in children, making it in my opinion best to be avoided.. (had a big discussion with a parent and paediatrician about a child with behaviour problems , only noted after eating bread, when we checked it had this in it, changed bread, no more issues!!)

 

the bread I buy can grow mould in 3-4 days if left so it is not that long..

 

Do check though for allergies and particularly asthma.. spores released could cause issues, no matter how careful

 

 

edit to say in my checking Germany banned calcium propionate from being used...

Edited by Inge
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Thank you Inge - really useful. I know that my current class are a wonderfully healthy group - no allergies or anything. Will look carefully for mould inhibitor (hadn't thought of that) and get experimenting!

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I saw an experiment years ago, you get small food bags, place some bread in each but on the bread place a variety of things i.e. cheese, meat, salt. See which develop mould and how fast it grows.

 

I buy Hovis white or brown, it doesnt have mould inhibitor

Edited by Rea
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Guest LornaW

Brilliant idea go for it! Mould seems to grow very quickly in my house and of course 'cos I'm old I just cut if off or scoop it out but not recommended with children!

 

LornaW

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apple - just wanted to say thank you again for those links. We did the balloons on bottles with yeast in this afternoon. I left an empty bottle with a balloon on top out this morning with a question - how could we get the balloon to blow up without blowing in to it - suggestions written on the sheet.... Theirs was "skweez it"! So this afternoon I said 'but what if you couldn't squeeze it?' I explained how yeast worked and we talked about whether it would work better with warm, cold or hot water. I'd made a recording sheet with 3 bottles and they just had to draw on what they thought would happen to the balloons. Then we put yeast, a spoon of sugar and water in, put the balloons on top and waited. It was absolutely fascinating - so many things to look at. As for the excitement when the first balloon popped up - it was just lovely! We invited some Y3s in to see what we'd been doing and the children asked for the bottles to be saved so mummies and daddies could see them when they bring them tomorrow. We've agreed to put photos on our learning platform so those whose parents don't bring them can see them at home. One little boy (who was actually the one who wanted to know about growing hot cross buns) stayed watching all afternoon, asking questions, making comments and comparisons. This from a boy who has always been a quieter one and had some speech issues when he started. Has been a great introduction to a topic so thank you!

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Apple - thank you for the links! Love the blowing up a balloon one - will definitely be giving that a go! I don't know how long it takes to grow bread mould - might have my own mini experiment going at home to see although my classroom is much warmer than my house!

 

Re: Apple. Many years ago I found 'something' in my school box. I used a storage container (instead of a handbag! :D ) when working at a pre-school. I used to take an apple to school everyday but on the last day, for some reason, it didn't get eaten and so stayed in my 'box' ... ... all summer. On preparing for the new term and getting my 'box' (handbag B) ) ready for work, I noticed something very brown, dry and shrivelled - I guess it looked a little like a (... ... umm no, I don't really know what it looked like) but it was definitely 'strange'! On closer inspection I discovered a sticker which said ... 'Golden Delicious' !! It was about the size of a walnut, dark brown and VERY dry! I still have it and show it to children when we do our topic of 'growth'; it's so fascinating! :1b

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