Grand Award

1st Place

What's In Your Wallet?

Health and Wellness
Mrs Lindsay Wong class

Mrs Lindsay Wong

"The Coronavirus pandemic has made people more aware and more vigilant about minimizing the transmission of bacteria. After a discussion about viruses, several students in our class wondered if we are spreading bacteria unknowingly when we purchase things at the store. Ultimately, this led us to ask ourselves, is it possible that credit cards are safer than cash? To answer this question, we collected 20 samples of credit cards and U.S. dollar bills, swabbed them for bacteria, and grew those twenty samples in petri dishes to see what we could discover. After many days of observation, we counted up the colonies that had resulted for each type of payment. On average, paper U.S. currency had 5.2 colonies of bacteria per sample, while credit cards had an average of 8 colonies of bacteria per sample. This means that credit cards have approximately 54% more bacteria, on average, than paper currency. This information is incredibly persuasive when it comes to staying healthy. While all of society can benefit from knowing which options put them at the least risk of bacterial transmission, immunocompromised and elderly people may find this information absolutely crucial to staying alive. Keywords: health, safety, pandemic, COVID, Coronavirus, health, bacteria, sanitizer, sanitizing, healthcare, virus, disease, mold, immunocompromised, Women in STEM"

Project presentation

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Lab journal excerpts

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Research paper

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