Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

The Big Balloon Blow-Up

In this Project Science investigation, for teachers working with pupils aged 8 - 14 years old, we provide free downloadable classroom resources to support your learners to use the scientific method to investigate microorganisms and climate change.

About Project Science

All of our Project Science activities are based on the scientific method, which is used in school and in scientific research to answer scientific questions. Science education, more than ever before, needs to focus on helping our learners to understand how science works and give them the skills and knowledge they need to become scientifically literate citizens. This can be done through giving our learners opportunities to carry out simple scientific investigations using the scientific method.


The main investigation can be used to model good practice and introduce or deepen understanding and confidence in using the scientific method.  We have also included suggested follow on investigations that your learners could plan and/or carry out in small groups to practice their new-found skills! With enough practice, they could even come up with there own question to ask and answer!


Project Science is a great resource to encourage your young science explorers to ask and answer their own scientific questions. While also giving little peek into how scientists at the Roslin Institute answer their own questions about science!

Big Balloon Blow Up Gaelic



 We are pleased to be able to offer some of the resource in Gaelic, to support 

Gaelic Medium Education (Foghlam tro Mheadhan na Gàidhlig) in STEM.

We would like to thank  Comhairle nam Pàrant Taobh na Pàirce (the school’s Parent Council) for funding the translation, Amanda Waite (University of Edinburgh)

and Ingeborg Birnie (University of Strathclyde) for their support. 


Share your investigations by tagging @EBSOClab & @roslininstitute #ProjectScience

About the Big Balloon Blow-Up

The Big Balloon Blow-Up will introduce microorganisms and climate change. Microorganisms are very tiny living things that you need a microscope to see.

Bacteria, viruses and some fungi are all types of microorganism.  Scientists at the Roslin Institute study microorganisms that infect farm animals, to help us understand how they make animals and humans sick and what they can do to stop them. The classroom presentation will remind your learners that not all microorganisms are bad but that many are useful such as the bacteria used to make yogurt and the yeast used to make bread.

The main investigation “Does yeast need sugar to grow?” can be carried out as a class to model good practice. 


What does the resource include?

  • Pupil worksheet for each learner to follow and document their investigation (**available in Gaelic**)
  • Teaching Guide to provide support and information for teachers using the toolkit
  • Class Presentation for teachers to use with their learners in the classroom
  • Real-Life Research Non-Fiction Reading Text to be used to talk about the real-world science that is happening at The University of Edinburgh (**available in Gaelic**)


Download the Big Balloon Blow-Up

Download Data Science Resource



If you use this toolkit please show us your work by tweeting @EBSOClab @Microbiosoc #ProjectScience

If you have any questions about this toolkit please email ebsoc@ed.ac.uk


Pondering Pond Life was funded by the Microbiology Society, using facilities funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.