Ballpark Pretzels: Using Microscopes to Observe Yeast Fermentation of Sugarby: Sarah Young

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The experiment in this free chapter provides a hands-on lab experience for students to being their investigation into yeast and the fermentation of sugars. The experiment allows students to view the yeast under the microscope, gaining skills in using the microscope and creating wet mounts. The visual and hands-on experience creating yeast and watching it rise provide an excellent context for understanding the process of fermentation that is viewed under the microscope, and create a memorable, edible lab. This free selection includes the Table of Contents, Introduction, National Science Education Standards: Incorporating Gourmet Lab into your Curriculum, Safety Protocol: How to Make Cooking Safe in a Laboratory, and the Index.

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Reviews (7)
  • on Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:56 PM

This is a very comprehensive resource with National Science Education Standards for 5th-8th grade. I've never thought of observing active yeast under a microscope before but I plan to now. I will not be doing all of the experiments in here but wow, there is something for everyone in the Gourmet Lab.

Pamela Dupre  (Lake Charles, LA)
Pamela Dupre (Lake Charles, LA)

  • on Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:09 AM

I can't wait to try this in my classroom! The author provides very detailed instructions for a fun, educational experiment.

Steve  (St. Johns, FL)
Steve (St. Johns, FL)

  • on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:47 PM

This example lab (making pretzels and observing yeast under the microscope) would fit seamlessly into my curriculum. A definite do.

Emily Keeter  (Northbrook, IL)
Emily Keeter (Northbrook, IL)

  • on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:14 PM

This chapter excerpt, although not applicable to my seventh grade curriculum, made me want to find a case study that was. I will most likely purchase this book in the future -- for more support and inspiration AND for the chapter that is entitled "what not to do". An interesting read for lesson planning ideas!

Emily Keeter  (Northbrook, IL)
Emily Keeter (Northbrook, IL)

  • on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:20 PM

This article is a great example of how we can engage our students in authentic inquiry, and make science come alive. Although I agree with an earlier review that this lab (and others in the book) would be best performed in a FACE classroom, it would be an outstanding activity to use in informal situations, as well as for alternative ed students who tend to lack engagement. After all, each time we cook a meal we are doing some type of experiment, either implicitly or explicitly, modifying procedures, and reactants. These activities are interesting for students in grades 6-12, perhaps younger, and do a very nice job of tying science process to results.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

  • on Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:34 AM

This inquiry-based activity involves students in varying the amount of sugar in pretzel recipes. Students examine yeast under a microscope, followed by recipe manipulation and cooking of pretzels. Lab safety regarding food in the science classroom is thoroughly discussed. This is an excellent activity for engaging student interest while learning about fermentation.

Patty M
Patty M

  • on Mon May 30, 2011 3:14 PM

The chapter provides several safety procedures to follow since students will be eating the results of their experiment. I really sit on the fence about this. I would say that unless you can do the lab in a family and consumer science room (suggested in the chapter), that students not be allowed to eat the results of their lab work. I like how the labs are written and see that it would inspire students to learn more science.

Susan German  (Hallsville, MO)
Susan German (Hallsville, MO)

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