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The five second rule

Postby rashada2010 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:31 am

I am trying to do this for my science fair. I am a 15 year old, sophomore in high school, is this project too childish??? Is there any way it can be made more advanced? HEELLPP!!111 :?:

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Postby staryl13 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:16 pm

I'm not quite sure what you are planning to do with the 5-second rule, but just explaining it will not be sufficient. Perhaps you can extend this simple idea into a project on bacterial growth on various items. You could test a few different objects and measure bacterial growth after set periods of time. Check out this idea-
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring ... ?from=Home
Hope it helped, good luck!
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -Isaac Asimov

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Not sure

Postby rashada2010 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:08 am

I am pushing towards something with bacteria growth.

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Postby EmilyDolson » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:44 pm


I think bacteria would definetly be the way to go if you want to study the five second rule in a sophisticated manner. The link that Staryl provided has a lot of good information on studying bacteria.

One possibility would be for you to culture bacteria from an object or piece of food that hasn't been dropped on the ground, one that was dropped on the floor and imediatley picked back up, one that sat on the ground for maybe fifteen seconds, and another for an hour (you can add more if you want, especially between the last two). You could then compare the bacteria on all of them to see if there is an appreciable differnce between under five seconds, and not dropped, as well as between five seconds and something higher, to see if the "five-second" part actually matters, or if ten seconds is just as good.

An important note of caution: Be very careful when culturing bacteria! You might end up growing some that are harmful to humans (pathogenic), so you must excercise caution when handling your dishes. It is also important to check your science fair's rules regarding bacteria, as some require special approval.

Good luck, have fun, and feel free to ask any more questions that come up!

- Emily
Reach for the stars and, if you miss, grab the moon!

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