Doing science experiments can be fun! But before you start your experiment, you need to make a hypothesis. In this lesson, you’ll read about an experiment about mold growing on food. You’ll also learn what a hypothesis is and how you can make one.
What Is a Hypothesis?
When food goes bad, mold can grow on it. Gross! If you put a piece of bread, a fresh strawberry, a bar of chocolate, and an open cup of yogurt in a dark cupboard for a few days, which one do you think would grow mold first?When you answer questions about what you think will happen in a science experiment, you’re making a hypothesis.
A hypothesis is an educated guess, or a guess you make based on information you already know. After you make a hypothesis, then comes the really fun part: doing the science experiment to see what happens! This lets you discover if your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.
How Do You Develop a Hypothesis?
Jessica and Roman are going to do the mold experiment. Before they start the experiment, they need to make a hypothesis about what they think will happen, in this case, which food they think will grow mold first. So, they think about what they already know about the items they’re going to test: the yogurt, bread, chocolate, and strawberries. This helps them make their educated guess, or hypothesis, about which food item will get moldy first when it is left in a dark cupboard.Jessica doesn’t think the chocolate will get moldy first because she remembers how her chocolate Halloween candy lasted for such a long time without getting moldy.
She’s never seen mold on yogurt, but once she almost bit into bread that had a little mold on it. Yikes! Since strawberries grow outside in the sun, she thinks the dark cupboard will be bad for them.After thinking about everything she knows about the food items in her experiment, Jessica makes her hypothesis: ‘I think the strawberry will get moldy first.
‘Now it’s Roman’s turn to make his hypothesis. Roman thinks the chocolate might melt in the cupboard, but he doesn’t think it will be the first food to get moldy. He saw mold growing on bread at his grandmother’s house once, but he’s never seen mold on a strawberry. And when he thinks about the yogurt, he hears his mom’s voice in his head reminding him to keep dairy products in the fridge.After giving it some careful thought, Roman finally makes his hypothesis: ‘I think the yogurt will grow mold on it first.’
Which Hypothesis Is Correct?
Once you’ve made your hypothesis and predicted what you think is going to happen, it’s time for the science experiment.
Jessica and Roman put the yogurt, bread, chocolate, and strawberry on separate plates on the same shelf in a dark cupboard. Each day at the same time, they check the food items for mold. One day when they open the cupboard, they see mold on one of the food items! They write down which food got mold first, and their experiment is over. After that, they compare the results of the experiment with their hypotheses to see if they were correct or incorrect.
Before you do your next science experiment, remember to make a hypothesis first. Think about everything you know about the items in your experiment, then make an educated guess about what you think will happen. After you make your hypothesis, do your science experiment carefully to see if your hypothesis was correct or incorrect. You could even do an experiment like Jessica and Roman’s to find out which food gets moldy first.