Microbes can be both useful and harmful. One of the main ways in which microbes are beneficial is in the food industry. Cheese, bread, yoghurt, chocolate, vinegar and alcohol are all produced through the growth of microbes.

The microbes used to make these products cause a chemical change known as fermentation – a process by which the microbes break down the complex sugars into simple compounds like carbon dioxide and alcohol.

This lesson plan will introduce the concept of useful microbes by looking at how fungi makes bread dough rise and identify other microbes that are used to make other food products.

Learning Outcomes:

  • All students will:
  • Understand that some microbes can help keep us healthy
  • Understand that some microbes can be put to good use
  • Know that microbes grow at different rates depending on their environments

Activities Include:

  • Main Activity:
  • Yeast Races
  • Extension Activity:
  • Fill in the Blanks

Curriculum Links:

  • Science:
    • Working scientifically
    • Health and prevention
  • English:
    • Reading and comprehension