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Publication #4HHLL70

Investigating the Fungus Among Us: A 4-H Educational Curriculum on Mold1

Jessica Kochert and Joy Jordan2

The youth of today are exposed to a number of environmental hazards on a daily basis. These hazards range from common household chemicals to hidden dangers such as radon and air pollution. Contact with these hazards can result in health issues including headaches, rashes, and difficulty breathing. Of these environmental hazards, one is especially common, but inconspicuous, often hiding from view—mold.

This unit takes a broad look at the vast world of mold. Much of today's media represents only negative aspects of mold. However, this unit investigates both the benefits and the dangers of mold or mold-based products. By completing the activities in each of the five lessons, youth will examine the positive and negative attributes of mold, the conditions that promote mold growth, and how growth can cause illness. They will also learn methods used to deal with mold growth in the home.

These activities have incorporated multiple subject matter areas, using Florida's Sunshine State Standards as a reference. This unit builds science skills while also developing skills in health, language arts, theatre arts, and visual arts. The specific standards associated with each activity are charted on pages v and vi and are also noted on each lesson plan.

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This document is 4HHLL70, one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2010. Revised July 2018. Visit the EDIS website at


Jessica Kochert, graduate student; and Joy Jordan, 4-H curriculum specialist, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; UF/IFAS Extension; Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.