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Science Experiments For Kids - Lemon Penicillin and Mold
Conducting science experiments is both fun and interesting way for kids to learn. Science is about discovery and it is also about the search. Incredible discoveries have come about because people immerse their learning with the scientific method to find something and during that process found something else. Penicillin is one of the greatest achievements in the history of man and it all came about my experimenting.
In 1999 Time Magazine named Alexander Fleming as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century and is quoted as writing that penicillin "Was a discovery that would change the course of history." The active ingredient in that mold, which Alexander Fleming named penicillin, turned out to be an infection-fighting agent of enormous potency. When it was finally recognized for what it was—the most efficacious life-saving drug in the world—penicillin would alter forever the treatment of bacterial infections. By the middle of the century, Fleming's discovery had spawned a huge pharmaceutical industry, churning out synthetic penicillin's that would conquer some of mankind's most ancient scourges, including syphilis, gangrene and tuberculosis"
To Make Penicillin with A Lemon
- A lemon
- Plastic Wrap or Aluminum Foil
- A Clean Empty Container
- A Magnifying Glass
How To Make Pencillin
Using a Lemon
- Place a lemon in an empty clean container.
- Add a few drops of water and cover the container very tight with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store it for a week or more in a dark place, like inside a kitchen cabinet.
- After the waiting time take the lemon out. Look at it closely with your magnifying glass.
What Happens to the Lemon
When you open the bag it would be a good idea to put on a pair of plastic gloves. You will see a soft, green mold growing on the lemon. Do not touch this mold or breathe it because tyou may be allergic to it
Why Does Mold Grow
On the Lemon
The green fuzzy mold on the lemons is actually a colony of millions of one cell ed plants growing together. They grow on food that is kept too long and make it change color and smell bad.
The mold that you have seen grown, which also grows on blue cheese, is the same mold that scientists make penicillin. Which is the medicine that fights harmful microbes when we are sick.
When you are all done with the examination of the lemon make sure you throw it away in the container and and wrap it back up. Throw it away in the nearest garbage can and wash your hands.
- Mold is not a plant but a fungus like mushrooms and toadstools. It grows on food and other organic matter, breaking it down into slime and extracting nutrients for growth.
- Alexander Fleming discovered that a common type of mold fungi kills germs. From this, he made a medicine called penicillin which has saved millions of lives over the last 80 years. Many other life-saving drugs are made from chemicals obtained from mold.
- Mold is one of nature’s cleaners. It breaks down dead organic material and recycles the nutrients back into the soil. Essentially it is in nearly every ecosystem in the world.
- Mold is something that most of us take for granted, and just think of it as something that
makes us have to throw the bread away or the cheese smell bad.
Fun Lemon Facts
- The lemon became known as a cure for scurvy which is a disease caused
by a lack of Vitamin C, which was common among sailors,soldiers and pirates.
a disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints.
- Lemon juice is also about 5 percent citric acid, making it a natural for slowing the browning or oxidation of fresh, raw foods: apples, avocados, bananas, and other fruits.
- Lemons are Rich in Bioflavonoids
- Lemon Juice Makes an Excellent Cleanser
- Lemons are Good for Your Skin
- California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
- Next time you have a sore throat, reach for a lemon!
Add the juice of one lemon to an equal amount of hot water for an anti-bacterial gargle.
More Science Experiments
- How To Make A SunDial
Children and nature, what better classroom can there be than the world outside. Learn how to tell time by making your own sundial.
- Science Experiments ~ Lemons Are More than Lemonade
A great idea for a science experiment. Did you know that with a lemon can you can write an invisible message, you can clean a penny and make it shiny and new and you can even make a lemon rocket.
- Science Experiments ~ How to Make Electricity
Experiments using lemons to create electricity and a galvanometer. Science fair ideas for kids of all ages.