A lesson plan developed by Corinne Takara, Trisha Sathish, Anne Hu and Emily Takara
Background info on this biomaterial: Kombuchais a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. If we add more tea and sugar to it, the culture can grow a thick layer at the surface of the container it is in. This rubbery layer of bacterial cellulose can then be removed, rinsed, dried and worked with like a paper or a leather. This top layer of the culture is called the “scoby” and that name stands for symbiotic culture of a yeast and bacteria.
“A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world. It a rubbery raft that floats on the surface of the kombucha.” from the www.thekitchn.com
Brief Description: This maker activity is an exploration in assembly unit designs and is a fun introduction to conversations centered on sustainability design and designing with biomaterials. It is also a way to introduce students to understanding bacteria, yeast and the byproducts of these organisms. The project results in an illuminated ornament made of a dried bacterial cellulose.