New York City, NEST+m, NY, Team 1

Report
Proposal Title
What is the effect of microgravity on mold growth on
white bread?
Grade Level(s) of Submitting Student Team: 5th grade
Submitting School: New Explorations into Science, Technology
& Mathematics
Submitting School District: 01
Submitting Teacher Facilitator: Margaux Stevenson
Name: Margaux Stevenson
Position: 5th Grade Teacher
Address: 111 Columbia Street, New York, NY 10002
Daytime phone: (212)-677-5190
Cell phone: (508) 320-6197
Email: [email protected]
Student Team Members
Co-Principal Investigators : (listed in alphabetical order)
Name: Noor Ajam
Grade level: 5th grade
Name: Foyez Alauddin
Grade level: 5th grade
Name: Alexander Harris
Grade level: 5th grade
Collaborators: (listed in alphabetical order)
Emma Alatzas, Ella Briman, Sarah Caba, Lucy Cantor, Elisa Carrillo, Samantha Chan, Sydney Cardieri, Hana Cruz, Benjamin Ebanks, Elana Field,
Jack Geyer, Zander Grier, Meredith Griffin, Oscar Johnson, Liam Kronman, Jonathan Leybungrub, Jonathan Lim, Noah Mack, Macy McGrail,
Haylie Parrilla, Tristan Pragnell, Elijah Shapiro, Ryo Shimosato, Jeron Wilkinson, Nora Youngelson.
Grade level for all collaborators: 5th grade.
Proposal Summary
Our question:
“What is the effect of microgravity on mold growth on
white bread?”
We want to do this experiment because before this experiment,
we did not know very much about mold growth. It would be really
interesting to learn about a new topic in microgravity.
For this experiment, we will use an FME type two tube. We will
use it because the substances our experiment requires are white bread and
formalin, which will act as a fixative when the experiment enters a
gravitational environment. Our procedure is to leave a small sample of
white bread in an FME type two tube for as long as possible, and then
release the formalin.
The insight we hope to gain from this experiment involves mold
starting out as dust. If there is a lot of mold dust in the air, then it will
crowd each other out, and naturally land on the bread. However, if there is
little mold dust in the air, then microgravity will carry it away and then it
will never land on the bread.
Lastly, we plan to measure the results of our ground element
and our microgravity element by measuring the area of the mold on the
white breads in square inches. We also plan to observe the color of the
mold and the color of the white bread. We plan to chart the data on a bar
graph.
Experiment Materials and Handling
Requirements
1.
Fluids Mixing Enclosure (FME) Type Proposed to be Used (check one):
Type 2 FME (2 experiment volumes: one clamp used)
2. List of Proposed Experiment Samples (Fluids and Solids to be Used)
Volume 1
.3 grams of white bread, in 3.5cm. x .5cm. Slices
Volume 2
5ml. Formalin (NBF): 10% Neutral Buffered; approx. 3.7% formaldehyde in phosphate buffered saline
Are any of the proposed samples human in origin? (check one):
 Yes
No
 N/A
LIST YOUR PROPOSED EXPERIMENT TIMELINE OF CREW INTERACTIONS ABOARD THE ISS:
D-2 days
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The Question to be Addressed by the
Experiment
Our question for this experiment is “What is the effect of microgravity on mold growth on white
bread?” We plan to see if mold grows more or less in microgravity compared to Earth. We also plan to compare
the color of the breads from the two different environments.
We want to do this experiment because we don’t know that much about mold growth and it
seems very interesting. Whenever we think about bread, we also think about mold. Also, it would be really
interesting to learn about a new topic in microgravity.
We know that bread mold can be three colors. The three colors that mold could be are black,
green, or blue. We also know that bread mold is formed by spores reproducing. Mold spores can be 3-40
microns in size. Mold starts as dust and floats in the air until it finds food to land on. Mold is actually fungi. In
order for mold to grow you will need mold spores, food that mold spores can land on (such as bread), and a
warm and moist environment. Additionally, we know that mold thrives in warm and moist temperatures and it
does not grow well in the cold. This knowledge will help us in this experiment because it will help us create our
hypothesis and determine if it is correct.
The insight that will be gained from this experiment involves mold starting out as dust. If there is a
lot of mold dust floating in the air, it will naturally crowd each other out and land on the bread. However, if
there is little mold dust in the air, in microgravity, the mold dust will probably float and never land on the
bread.
blue mold on bread
black mold on bread
Experiment Design
The proposed experiment addresses our question by seeing if mold grows on the untouched bread
in the FME tube in microgravity. Since our question is “What is the effect of microgravity on mold growth on
white bread?” the question and the experiment are closely related.
We chose bread for our experiment because mold grows well on it. Also, when we think of mold,
the first thing that comes to our minds is bread.
Our experiment has one initiation process. The formalin will be released on to the bread to stop
mold growth so that we are only comparing a micro-gravitational and gravitational environment.
We plan to conduct the same experiment on Earth as on the ISS. The purpose of this ground
element is to compare mold growth on Earth and in microgravity. This will help us see if microgravity does have
an effect on mold growth on white bread compared to Earth.
When the FME returns to Earth, we plan to analyze the area of the mold and observe the color of
the mold and the color of the white bread. These tests will help us compare mold growth on white bread on
Earth and in microgravity as well. We plan to use a ruler and we can easily get access to one. Over time, we
have become very excited about this experiment, and it was a great honor to be chosen.
Acknowledgements
The Student Team would like to thank our teacher, Ms. Stevenson; NEST+m’s SSEP program administrator and NEST+m
Assistant Principal Mr. Brendan Alfieri; and NEST+m science teacher Mr. Marvin Cardornigara. We would also like to
thank the SSEP people, The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, The New York State Space Grant
Consortium (Cornell University) the NYC Department of Education, and the NEST+m PTA.
Letter of Certification by the Teacher Facilitator
November 4, 2013
I certify that the student team designed the experiment described herein and authored this proposal, and not a teacher, parent, or other adult. I recognize that the purpose
of this letter is to ensure that there was no adult serving to lead experiment definition and design, or write the proposal, and thereby provide content and/or professional
expertise beyond that expected of a student-designed and student-proposed experiment.
I also understand that NCESSE recognizes that facilitation of thinking across the student team by the team’s Teacher Facilitator, and other teachers, parents, and local area
researchers, is not only to be encouraged but is absolutely vital if students are to receive the necessary guidance on the process of scientific inquiry, experimental design,
how to do background research in relevant science disciplines, and on writing the proposal.
I also certify that the samples list and the special handling requests listed in this proposal are accurate and conform to the requirements for SSEP Mission 5 to ISS. I confirm
that the team, after reviewing their procedure and budget for obtaining the samples for the experiment, is certain that they will be able to obtain the necessary samples for
their experiment in time to meet the deadline for shipping the flight-ready FME to NanoRacks. If using human samples, the team is aware that these samples must be tested
for prohibited viruses before the experiment can be selected for flight. Finally, the Teacher Facilitator certifies that the student team will have access to the proper facilities
to prepare the Fluid Mixing Enclosure for flight and to analyze the samples after the flight.
Margaux Stevenson
Teacher Facilitator

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