The York Region Science and Technology Fair (YRSTF) is a regional science fair that showcases student research from students in grades 7 to 12.
PCA Middle School students joined other students virtually in York Region this April to share their scientific knowledge and problem-solving skills at the annual YRSTF. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the fair was entirely virtual with students showcasing their projects on the Youth Science Canada ProjectBoard Platform.
Congratulation to our Gr. 8 student Jeffrey who was awarded a bronze medal (Gr. 7/8 Division) with his project, “Sensitive Skin with Alcohols- Any Alternatives?”. Jeffrey is so kind to share with us his findings as seen below. We are humbled by the fact that the purpose of his research is to honour God, by protecting neighbours and ourselves. Way to go Jeffrey! You can see his full research here.
“Did you know, 60% of the people population have sensitive skins? After I read an article, I found out 60% of the people population have sensitive skins. Immediately, I thought of us, we use alcohol every day to clean our hands and our hands get dry and sensitive due to the alcohol and/or alcoholic hand sanitizer from practicing hand hygiene. I wanted to change that! I wanted to determine which home-use/homemade cleaning products is the most effective and/or closest (alternatives) to alcoholic hand sanitizer and 100% alcohol if soil bacteria are put on hands; and compared with Purell alcoholic hand sanitizer, 100% alcohol, soap with water, saltwater and water. (Purpose) My hypothesis was if alcoholic hand sanitizer (Purell), 100% alcohol, soap with water, saltwater and water are used to clean soil bacteria, then alcoholic hand sanitizer (Purell) and soap with water would work the best.
Here is how I completed the experiment: I mixed soil with water, and placed them on my petri dish with agar solution. I gave them 6 days to grow on the bathroom vent with an average temperature of 23.5 degrees Celsius. I touch the bacteria with gloves/hands, applied with cleaning solution. I applied the new bacteria to a new petri dish with agar solution so that I can grow some more to see the results. To make this experiment fair, these are my control variables. Completed the whole experiment exactly the same twice for each product. New gloves and new Q-Tips were used for each solution testing. Place 1 teaspoon soil and 2.5ml of water to create bacteria for each Petri dish. Place an equal amount of bacteria sample on hand/glove (all the bacteria on a petri dish). Place 10 ml of the concentrations on hand. Rub it on your hands 20 times for 20 seconds. After using each concentration on bacteria, using Q-Tips, rub it on the hand, between the hands and then carefully rub it on the petri dish. Each petri dish rests on the bathroom vent for 6 days. Examine each petri dish when it is ready. Set on the house vent at an average of 23.5 degrees Celsius.
I defined how the bacterias changed by looking at their size difference and the amount (number of bacterias) difference of the bacterias.
-Original bacteria (Without the use of any solutions)- The bacteria colonies were large. The bacteria colonies were not squished in very circular shapes and over 600 bacterias colonies were counted in each petri dish.
-Soap with water- The bacteria colonies were squished, and small shapes stuck together. There were approximately 60 bacteria colonies separated were counted and some smudged left in each petri dish.
-100% Alcohol- The bacteria colonies were also squished and separated, and small forms of circular shapes were overlapping each other. There were approximately 70 bacterias colonies were counted and some smudged left in each petri dish.
-Alcoholic Purell hand sanitizer- The bacteria colonies were smally separated into random organic shapes. There were approximately 60 bacterias colonies and some smudged left in each petri dish.
-Saltwater- The bacteria colonies were in medium shapes. There were approximately 100 bacterias colonies and most of them were smudged together in each petri dish.
-Water- The bacteria colonies were in medium circular shapes. There were more than 500 bacterias colonies found in the Petri dishes in each petri dish.
*Overall, soap with water and Purell Hand Sanitizer worked the best, followed by 100% alcohol, saltwater and water. The salt in the saltwater was very effective.
This experiment tested the various solutions on bacteria, saltwater worked because it drew water from osmosis, but salt can also work on viruses (Coronaviruses), by destroying its outer layer/coat. This is a good way to stay away from bacterias and viruses. Instead of using soap with water, we can replace it with 10% salt with water (Salt solution pumps), people can use that, rinse the salt off by the sink with water and it will be cheaper than soap with water. We can use salt solution pumps instead and save up the soap pumps for hospitals, senior homes. However, it is still not too good if you use soap or salt a lot of times per day. Salt water can be the best to rinse it off with water, but we should always rinse it off with water frequently when using salt water.
Hand Sanitizer can help us to honour God by telling our neighbours that we can also use salt water to clean our hands. We should love our neighbours, and care for them. In Matthew 22: 37-39, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” We should love our neighbours and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”