Yeast Balloon

Subbed and Written by Bori Kim

Our Bright Young Female Scientist, Brianna

Our Bright Young Female Scientist, Brianna

It was such a lovely spring day! A bit windy outside, but the wind could not stop a bright young girl to enjoy her afternoon with fun science! Brianna loves science. Loves to try new experiments. We welcomed our guest scientist, Ms. Chen. Ms. Chen is a lab-researcher who studies bio-metabolism as a part of Molecular Biology. She is one of the behind-the-scenes people in the medical field. Ms. Chen supports doctors by informing them which medicine would work best for each patient that has been diagnosed with diabetes whereas doctors meet the patients in person.

Control & Variables

Control & Variables

There she was with balloons and water-bottles. Of course more than these two. Yeast. Sugar. Warm Water. We were about to blow the balloons with the yeast. Brianna was very excited to create different variables with these materials. The one as a control had been already set by Ms. Chen. Yeast, sugar, warm water inside the bottle and in a bowl that had the bottle in it. Brianna created one without sugar and one without water. While we were waiting a bit for the balloons to be blown up, Ms. Chen shared why she wanted to major what she is doing now. Ms. Chen grew up around/with science even when she was a little girl. Her father was a scientist, so Ms. Chen was always exposed to new science activities at home. Later in her college years, one of her professors at UC-Berkley encouraged her to be a biologist. Bio-metabolism has been her passion ever since.

Back to our red balloons, it was very clear what had blown the balloon. “Which variable do you think made the balloon blown?” asked Ms. Chen. “The sugar, maybe,” responded Brianna. “Think about this. Sugar is the food that sustains Yeast’s life and the warm water wakes up the yeast” Ms. Chen elaborated a little bit for Brianna. Brianna paused a little bit then said, “We need both sugar and water so that we can have a balloon full-blown.” “Yes, yeast needs both to create carbon dioxide. That’s how the balloon is being blown up here,” explained Ms. Chen.

We only had sugar and warm water as a variable, but there are other variables that we can try. Different time period. Different shapes of bottles. These two other variables affect the balloon size as well. We had a small class, but it didn’t matter at all. Our work was very productive!

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