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Catton Grove Primary - Lunchbox Science : Yeast


Scientist, Dr Jo Dicks from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures at the Institute of Food Research worked with artist Alex Lingford, writer Mike O’Driscoll and Maxine Freestone's class of year 6 children.  Jo introduced the class to yeast and the children were surprised to learn that they are living organisms that are found in pretty much every environment on Earth. They learned about how yeast is being used to generate biofuel, as mini factories to make medicines and in the food industry.

Jo gave the children feeding experiments to do with dried and fresh yeast, they were amazed to see it expanding before their eyes. The children set up bottles with yeast and sugar and put balloons on top to see how the feeding yeast omitted carbon dioxide that caused the balloons to inflate. They followed a recipe that used yeast to make their own crumpets that were eaten at the end of the day.

Mike introduced the writing session with a poem that he had written about yeast and helped the children list words they had used in the science that were good describing words to use in their poems. At the end of the session most of the children read their work to the rest of the class. In the art session, Alex taught the children how to build 3D models of the yeast cells shown in the science images. The framework was created with cane held together with sticky tape and the walls made by gluing strips of tissue paper.