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Science trip puts smallest life forms under the microscope

Published on 16/05/19

Children from Stradbroke Primary Academy explored the vital role of microorganisms in food production at a university science workshop.

The Year 5 class visited the University of East Anglia to meet PhD student Hannah, who spends her time researching how to make food safe to eat and preserve it for longer.

In a workshop exploring the question ‘Are microbes helpful or unhelpful?’, pupils investigated the properties of yeast, a single-celled organism used in the production of food such as bread, beer, and Marmite.

The children used a microscope to see the fermentation process in action, when the yeast feeds on sugar and starches and releases carbon dioxide bubbles.

Hannah explained how microbes can have harmful effects such as making food go off, or damaging artworks in a gallery, when they produce spores – a process the children recreated using air dough.