Breathing Yeasties

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Does yeast breathe? Find out by watching how plastic bags filled with yeast, warm water and different amounts of sugar change over time. Demonstrate the interaction of microorganisms and the carbon cycle with yeast, sugar and water, and discover how organisms are dependent on water and energy flow. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Four (4) quart-sized Ziploc bags
  • 4 packets of activated dry yeast
  • sugar
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 measuring cup
  • about 6 cups warm water (about 46oC or 115oF)
  • large bowl
  • marking pen (permanent ink)
  • thermometer
  • piece of cardboard (or notebook with a stiff back)
  • ruler
  • pen or pencil


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience


  • All rights reserved, TryScience/New York Hall of Science, or are licensed or otherwise published by the New York Hall of Science with the permission of the owner of the material., 1999