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Old 11-06-2007, 06:38 PM   #1
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HELP on science project!!!

Any help or suggestions are appreciated. My daughter is working on her science project. She is measuring the growth of mold in raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. She'd like to know which berries hold the most moisture and why mold grows faster on raspberries. Thanks a bunch!!!

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Old 11-06-2007, 09:06 PM   #2
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I don't know, Dina. Where are Goodweed and Michael when we need them? Hey, guys!!!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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Im not knowing either but I think it depends on the age of the berries when you buy them and the humidity where you live and in your fridge.But its seems the raspberries go moldy first.It seems too much moisture is the biggest problem. Maby our resident scientists, no I know they have an answer.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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Does it also depend on if your hands were spotless clean when touching them to put them in their test environment.

Which post was it that had someone testing MacDonalds burgers and fries to the corner shop food on YouTube? ewwwwwwwww, lots of mold happening there -
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:35 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your help. My daughter made a hypothetical conclusion on it and the project is ready to go to school tomorrow. Nothing like kids waiting till the last minute.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:51 AM   #6
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Seems to me there are many variables at play here. As has been mentioned the growth might depend on the amount of yeast on the berries at the beginning of the experiment.

Doubt the yeast growth depends upon the water content. The berries are almost entirely water. If you want to prove it take some and toss them in an oven until they become almost weightless powder.

The sugar content might be a factor, but know of no way one can easily and cheaply measure that at home.

Of course there are many more variables, including vitamin and mineral content of the various berries.

But this is a school project, so relax.

Have her just quantify the amount of growth on the various berries. This can be done visually on a 1-10 scale or any way you feel appropriate. Take good pictures.

And then, when it comes time for conclusions, mention the various factors that could have affected the result.

The judges want to know that your child has learned something about the scientific process.

So make sure the purpose of the experiment is carefully described, the results documented (lots of pictures), and the conclusions, with possible explanations, included.

Just my 2 cents.

Good luck to your daughter.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:38 AM   #7
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This last point by AuntDot is true. They will want to know the processes undertaken and the observations, etc, and less whether the result is determinable. It is quite permissable to state that the aim of the experiment has not been fulfilled and that further testing/lengthy testing would need to be undertaken before a result is feasible. Provided all thoughts are justified by reason, the documentation is suitably thorough and the scientific points are adequately acknowledge, she should be okay.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:39 AM   #8
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Don't know how old your daughter is, Dina, but it sounds like it might or was an elementary project. Being a former elementary science teacher I hope that she learned one conclusion from this lesson: not to wait until the last minute from now on-----took me a few years to learn that one myself as I'm the world's biggest procrastinators. :)

Hope that she conducted some visual experimentations using different berries to observe for herself. If not, this might be a fun project to do over the holidays and a great learning lesson for her. At the least she should pick out several berries, make a chart, date it, and then conduct daily inspections (keeping all environmental conditions as uniform as possible) in other words all berries were fresh to begin with, all sit on the same surface, in the same room, same temps and no outside contamination (contact with water, hands, pets, etc.). Then she can write comments day by day about each berry on her chart and even make photos of the berries as they changed in time. (color changes, uniformity changes, odor, appearance and description of any mold) Quite honestly, there is NOT one correct answer in science experiments at this age level ---the fun part is explaining why you might have had different results from someone else-------(usual explanation is that it's difficult to maintain uniform conditions and keep the variables the same--example are they organic berries, berries from different parts of the country, treated with chemicals, etc.) Anyway, it sounds like a fun project..............
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:05 AM   #9
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Personally, I think by asking this question you are almost defeating the purpose of the science project! Science at that age is about teaching kids to conduct an experiment and come to their conclusions based on what they observe. Surely there must be a fun and relatively easy way to determine how much moisture is in a berry and then to observe how (fast) the mold grows.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukx View Post
Surely there must be a fun and relatively easy way to determine how much moisture is in a berry and then to observe how (fast) the mold grows.
Guess you can press each berry through a sieve into a test-tube or something that measures very small volumes and then based on the weight of the berry work out the moisture ratio. Then just wait for the mould to set in.
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