Cleaning up the truth
Ethan Rae
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 191 H

Ever since I went to Fernie, I was always looking for a science fair project. Especially when my cousin started talking about his with his mom. He told me about his science fair (about the 5 second rule) and I really liked his idea. In fact, I wanted to replicate it. I kept questioning on what I would do and finally found a way that would look at bacteria in a different way.

My purpose was to find the best soap for IPS students to clean their hands.

I emailed everyone on the weekend before the experiment to check if everyone was okay with being test subjects for my experiment. I will divide them into groups and get them to come at different times during lunch. The groups are:
Ferry hand soap, Antibacterial soap, Hand sanitizer, Antibacterial soap + hand sanitizer
I asked that they go about their day in a regular way and not wash their hands prior to meeting before lunch.
When the groups arrived, I got everyone to rub their dirty fingers in a petri dish and close it quickly after to exclude all the debris and microorganisms in the air that may float in. These were the control dishes.
I took those students to wash their hands with the school hand soap and got each person to touch new petri dish agar. I closed the Petri dishes fast so that bacteria floating around doesn’t come in the dish. Then I put the petri dishes in the Ziploc bags which will were labeled with date, name, and method of hand cleaning. I repeated step 7-9 with the 3 other groups, using: ferry hand soap, hand sanitizer and antibacterial hand soap. I took photos of bacteria growth every 2 days and stored the petri dishes in a warm, dark environment in my room. I made observations of the quality and quantity of bacteria every two days and I quantified my bacteria on a scale of 0 to 10 with a 0 being no bacteria whatsoever and 10 being fully covered with bacteria.

My science fair experiment did not unfold the way that I anticipated and my results do not necessarily support my initial hypothesis that the anti-bacterial soap would be most effective in eliminating bacteria from students’ hands. I have based my conclusion on Day 7 as this day demonstrated a good amount of bacteria growth. Based on my data on day 7, it would seem like the ferry soap was most effective, reducing the bacteria from an average of 5.3 to 3. The next most effective was the antibacterial soap reducing the bacteria from 5 to 4.3 after washing. Surprisingly, the data from the hand sanitizer group and the hand sanitizer + antibacterial soap group demonstrated a growth of bacteria after a week going up from 4 to 6 with hand sanitizer and the mix from 5.33 to 5.66. From this experiment, it looks like the ferry soap was the most effective.