Wednesday, September 21, 2011

science experiment::wake up the yeast

This is such a great science experiment. It can be done with things you have around the house, all ages enjoy it and can participate and it lends itself to further explorations. Basically, we wanted to find out which foods "wake up" the single celled yeast organism. My kids already knew that sugar and starches were the food of choice - so we tested various sugars, including lemon juice since it is a fruit. Here are the specifics:

What you need
plastic freezer bags
lukewarm water
measuring spoons and cups
yeast
variables to test

What to do
-Discuss what you want to test and make a list. Then narrow it down if you need to. In the past we have had some great discussions about what might happen with a slice of apple, apple juice and apple sauce.


-Gather the items and measure into bags. We used 70ml of water to 1t of yeast and 1T of the variable. Your amounts can be different, just make sure they are consitant in each bag.


-Make sure to make a plain water bag to use as the control.


-Use words like control, variable, hypothesis, test, conclusion...


-Record ideas on a simple table and write a conclusion.


I love that even prewriters can easily participate in the lab manual portion of this project. My 5 year old drew bubbles in amounts that represented the amount of activity in each bag. So, lemon juice only has four little bubbles and maple syrup had as many as he could fit on the table.


Really beautiful watching the bubble form and then pop to make larger bubbles. Like a lava lamp.

We discussed how this might affect our bread making, thought about the wild yeast in the air, and made a list of variables to try in the future.

This is the maple syrup after a few hours. I had to set it in the sink where it exploded.



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3 comments:

  1. I love seeing all your yeast experiments. What a fabulous lesson for your kids!! We're huge maple syrup fans, and I know the maple syrup would go over well in our house. Oh, and the potential explosion...while that would suck for clean-up, I'm sure my kids would talk about it for the rest of their lives :)

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  2. Bet it was exciting when it exploding. Hope there sang much mess.

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  3. oooh fab idea! I love the bubbly photo. Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks. xx

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