December 6


Fifth grade performed an experiment to test whether washing hands before touching bread impacted mold growth. To mix things up, one class used white bread and the other used wheat bread from Harvest Bread Company. Although students had a variety of results, we made some general conclusions:

  • Mold grew much more quickly on the white bread and there was a greater variety of mold on the white bread.
  • Mold grew more quickly and there was a greater variety of mold on the bread we touched with our dirty hands.
  • For most students, mold eventually grew on both the slices of bread we touched with dirty or clean hands.
  • Our control bread is just starting to show signs of mold.

Everyone agreed, we need to wash our hands.  There were lots of follow-up questions.


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November 18

Mrs. Dailey

Mrs. Dailey, second grade assistant, is a microbiologist. She worked in a hospital lab for 12 years after graduating from the University of Georgia. What a treat to have her visit fifth grade during their study of single-celled organisms!

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November 14

Scientific Method and Mold

Mold Facts

  • microscopic
  • classified in the fungi kingdom
  • grows in colonies
  • reproduces by spores
  • present virtually everywhere
  • neither plant nor animal
  • feeds on dead or decaying matter

After reviewing information about mold and the Scientific Method, we began a simple experiment on mold growth.

Will more mold grow on bread that we touched with dirty hands or will more mold grow on the bread we touched after washing our hands? Maybe there won’t be any difference at all. We wrote a hypothesis and discussed all of the variables that could impact this experiment. We also have  a control- a piece of bread that hasn’t been touched by hands in the classroom.

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November 5


What a treat to have Eva’s mom, Christina, visit our third grade classes to share her experiences as an archeologist. The children had lots of questions for her! She worked in Belize studying the Mayan ruins.  Her specialty is jade.


October 26


This gel was created by NASA when they took ants to space. It provides all the moisture and food they need. After I dropped the ants inside, the first thing they did was bury their dead. Amazing!

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October 14


In fifth grade we performed an experiment to determine the best environment for mold growth. For Mrs. Pannek’s class, I purchased inexpensive white bread from the grocery store. We dropped water on the bread slices and sealed each slice in a Ziploc bag. Then each group placed the bread on the counter, in a cabinet and in the refrigerator. Each student formed his/her hypothesis and then we waited and waited.  Mrs. McElroy’s class did the same experiment, but I changed a variable and purchased white bread from Harvest Bread Company. After a month, there isn’t any evidence of mold on the bread in Mrs. Pannek’s class. It took almost three weeks, but the bread from the Harvest Bread Company began to mold in the cabinet and on the counter. The bread in the refrigerator still has no mold growth. We had a discussion about preservatives and discovered that calcium propionate was added to the white bread from Kroger’s to prevent mold growth.


White Bread from Kroger

White bread from Harvest Bread Company

White Bread from Harvest Bread Company

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