What is Mold? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 What Is Mold?
  • 0:35 How Does Mold Grow?
  • 1:06 Where Does Mold Grow?
  • 1:41 Mold Can Be Harmful
  • 2:19 Mold Can Be Helpful
  • 2:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Find out the science behind a type of fungi called mold. Learn how mold develops, areas where mold is commonly found, and how it can be both harmful and helpful to humans!

What Is Mold?

Have you ever noticed green or white spots on a piece of bread or cheese? You may have wondered what these spots were and how they got on your food. These spots are places where mold has started growing. Mold is a member of the fungi kingdom. This kingdom includes mushrooms and yeasts. Since mold is a type of fungi, it is not a plant or an animal. However, it can grow on different surfaces and in different environments. Mold has some helpful benefits to humans, but it can also be dangerous and unhealthy in certain situations.

How Does Mold Grow?

This fungi grows through something called spores. Spores are able to live for long periods of time in situations that might normally be considered bad for plants or animals to survive. Spores feed on dead plant or animal material, and they love warm, wet environments. Many times people will notice high mold growth after many days of rainy weather. You may also have seen mold in places like your shower or bathtub. There, it looks like little black spots or smears.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold can grow almost anywhere! However, there are certain types of environments or conditions that this fungi really likes. Areas where there is a lot of humidity, or water in the air, are areas where mold likes to flourish. Add warmth to the humidity, and mold spores multiply like crazy! You can find mold growing on food, dead animals, and even on structures like walls or furniture in climates that are very warm and wet. For this reason, refrigerating food is a good idea. The cold, dry space of a refrigerator helps to prevent mold from growing on your food.

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