Mold Growth

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In this activity learners observe mold growth on different types of bread by measuring and recording the growth rate. Educators can use this activity to introduce a challenge astronauts face while in space: no refrigeration. This lesson plan includes discussion questions, extensions, and black-line masters.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Variety of breads (such as white, brown, whole wheat, rye, and sourdough) with and without preservatives
  • Variety of tortillas (such as flour and corn) with and without preservatives
  • Plastic zip-locking sandwich bags (16.5 cm x 14.9 cm)
  • Marking pens
  • Tape
  • Knives
  • Metric rulers
  • Transparent centimeter grid sheets
  • Large trays
  • Student Data Sheets


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access