July STEM Review: The Magic School Bus Science Club (Bacteria and Fungi)

It's the second month of our series of reviews on the Magic School Bus science club subscription! We had the fun of teaching the kids about Fungi and Bacteria with a sample of the kit.

This month's kit came packaged like the Fossils kit we tried last month. It had everything you needed to do most of the experiments (with the assumption that you could use a few common household supplies to complete the rest -- such as water and a saucepan.)

A full-color guide with great discussion points and narrations was provided. It went through every activity in a detailed and easy-to-understand manner.

I loved, loved, loved the activities in this kit. While most of them took days to complete (to allow the bacteria to grow), we got some pictures of the early days of the experiments. We will update with more photos later!

We took agar and chicken bullion to create a place for the fungi and bacteria to grow.

Then the kids washed their hands and touched parts of the petri dishes to see if bacteria would grow faster or slower if their hands were clean! Another fun experiment had them swab different parts of their body (hair, toes, tongue, and skin) to see which had more bacteria. (I'm really excited to see how this one turns out!) We set up a glass of water for bread to "mold", as well.

My boys were SUPER excited. There is the chance to make bread, too. It's all very captivating and one of the best kits I've tried. Just look at all the ingredients that are included for the activities:

Here's what was covered in this kit:

  • Preparing Agar (the petri dishes)
  • Testing Soap
  • Which Body Parts are the Cleanest?
  • Growing Mold
  • Waking up Fungi
  • Inflating a Balloon with Fungus
  • Baking Bread
This was a super interesting unit to do with the kids, however, it does take time for mold and fungi samples to grow. Be aware of the timeframe between when you set up the growing dishes, to when you can actually see results -- *2-5 days for most of the experiments. Touching the agar was the coolest part; it's like gelatin and fascinating to set up and observe.

I highly recommend this kit! Be sure you see our review of Fossils to learn more about the other kits in the series.You can sign up to get this kit (as well as the others in the series) here. We will be sharing our experience trying one kit a month in reviews this year, as well! 

UPDATE: Remember that experiment we were waiting for results? It had my son touch the sample dish on one side with unwashed hands, and then again with washed hands. Well, as you can see, there wasn't much difference. 

Failed experiment? Nope, we just had an opportunity to talk to our 8-year-old about proper handwashing techniques. One of the reasons I love these science kits. You get to apply STEM to real-world applications that kids understand!

*Sample received to review. Opinions are our own.