Monday, 28 November 2011

Yucky-cillin and 3 mouldy experiments

The past few weeks had been a rather slow period in our homeschool, primarily because Tiger was ill with a very severe viral infection, which saw him taking three different dosages of penicillin just to keep himself going in the day.

This was the first time Tiger has taken penicillin in such huge dosages.  He called it 'yucky-cillin'.  I don't blame him.  The medicine had such awful taste that I thought Tiger did really well to swallow it.

Even though he was lethargic most of the time, he was still keen to do science experiments, so I looked through Biology for Every Kid for Zoology experiments (so as not to deviate too far from our current science topic - organisms).  Lo and behold!  The first few experiments in the Zoology section are about moulds, which were very relevant to Tiger's experience with penicillin.  He was not too pleased to learn that penicillin is actually a type of mould. 

Experiment 1: To grow bread mould

Materials we used

Adding drops of water to the bread

Day 0 - damp bread sealed in ziplock bag

Day 1 - no observable change
Day 2 - still no observable change
Day 3 - moulds are becoming visible
Day 4 - obvious moulds!

Experiment 2: Effect of yeast on sugar solution

Materials for this experiment

Making yeast + sugar solution

Day 0

Day 0 - 2 hours later
Day 1 - balloon was smaller than Day 0 but not totally flat
Day 2 - balloon was the same size as Day 1

Experiment 3: Effect of preservatives on bacterial growth

Materials for experiment 3

Day 0

Day 1 - no obvious changes

Day 2 - 'control' was most cloudy (indicates mould growth)
Day 3 - clear vs cloudy becomes more obvious
Day 4 - 'control' (in the middle) is the cloudiest
Day 4 - birds' eye view.  Mould is seen in the middle 'control' glass.

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.  It is also linked to the December edition of Hands-on Homeschooling Blog Carnival.


  1. Great classic mold experiments! I can see why he wanted to do science!

  2. Sorry to hear that Tiger has been under the weather -- I hope he's feeling better! Love the mouldy experiments -- your results look like some of the chocolate milk sippy cups that hide around our house. I hope they didn't smell as bad!

  3. Wishing Tiger will get well soon and sending you all some warm hugs.

  4. Thank you, everyone, for all your kind comments and well-wishes. Tiger is getting better, and we hope to get outdoors again soon, even though it's really damp, dark, cold, and miserable in England these days! Hope all of you have had a very wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! From what I've read on your blogs, all of you appear to have had a really good one last week. :-)

  5. Awesome experiments! Thank you for sharing.


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