Fermentation in a Bag

This is a hands-on inquiry activity using zip-lock plastic bags that allows students to observe the process of fermentation and the challenge of producing ethanol from cellulosic sources. Students are asked to predict outcomes and check their observations with their predictions. Teachers can easily adapt to materials and specific classroom issues.

Go To:

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
U.S. Department of Energy

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Consider an engagement piece and wrap-up piece that clearly connects the activity to energy and various fuel sources.

Would fit nicely into activities investigating respiration and making connections between respiration and larger energy topics.

If no ethanol probe, just ask kids to open bag and "waft" odors from the bag. They should be able to pick up an alcohol smell.

Literacy and Resources