By: Lenna Lo & Aashna T.
School: Brywood Elementary, 6th grade
Advisor: Mr. Cady
Which location in the school collects the most mold? We think that the plastic slide will have the most mold because they are touched by many kid’s bottoms that may have been sitting on the grass, the blacktop, and many other dirty surfaces. It is also almost never cleaned and there is probably a lot of grime and bacteria on it. It is also still wet from the rain. We think that the blacktop will have the second most mold because they are touched by our shoes which are not cleaned very often and have been on dirt, more blacktop, and many other surfaces. We are using the blacktop near the bike rack, where bikes that have ridden on many surfaces touch daily. The door handles will probably have the least mold because we touch them with our hands which are washed often and are probably not as dirty as our shoes and the slide.
Things mold need to grow:
- Temperature: Most molds cannot grow below 40° F. This is why food is typically refrigerated at 39° F.Mold grows best between 77° F and 86° F, especially if the air is humid.
- Water: Molds thrive in damp, humid, and wet conditions.
- Oxygen: Molds are obligate aerobes. This means that they need oxygen to survive.
- Food: Mold grows on materials that it can digest – and it can digest a lot. It can metabolize virtually anyorganic (carbon-containing) matter in nature,