Bacteria

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By Maya Lawrence and Josie Savage

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Abstract

The purpose of our experiment is to find which object/location has the most bacteria around the house. Knowing this information could help because these might be places you don’t normally think about cleaning. There could be something in your house filled with bacteria that you use every day, without realizing it. The problem we are trying to solve through our experiment is the lack of knowledge on household bacteria. Through the completion of our experiment we found various objects/locations that we can forget to clean, and the reasons on why we should start.

To complete this experiment, we took swabs of the different locations and objects that we thought could potentially have excessive amounts of bacteria. The bacteria grew on nutrient agar in petri dishes which we stored in a dark room. We tested the kitchen sink, the refrigerator handle, an outdoor flowerpot, the garage keypad, the front door handle, the bathroom floor, the car door handle, the cat’s collar and the stairs railing for bacteria. We let the bacteria grow for five weeks to get the best results. We found that the garage keypad had the most bacteria. This is something that most people probably overlook when cleaning, but is filled with bacteria.

Our science experiment contributes to the to the area that we worked on because it gives people a good understanding on things that they can forget to clean that have a lot of bacteria.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyT2FuZEklMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Object and Inquiry

For this year’s science fair, we set out to discover which places around the house have the most bacteria. The object of our study is different amounts of bacteria, and our inquiry is which places have the most bacteria.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVG9ySCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmElM0U=[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Hypothesis

We think that if we test all these 9 locations then the location with the most bacteria will be the kitchen sink because we think that is a highly used object that rarely gets cleaned.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUldVJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Research Write Up

Prior Knowledge:
Josie- Bacteria is a form of a biological cell. They are very small, typically a couple micrometers in length. They are made of prokaryotic microorganisms and have a different range of shapes. Bacteria was the first form if life on earth. 
Josie’s Questions- How much time does it take for the bacteria to form on the petri dish? Why does the agar activate the bacteria? Why and how does the bacteria star spread on the petri dish? 
Maya- I do not have that much prior knowledge on bacteria; I have heard of this project before and I wanted to try it around the house. Pretty much I have no prior knowledge on bacteria.
Maya’s Questions- Will we be able to clean the petri dishes enough? What is the definition of bacteria? Why are there more bacteria in some places rather than others?
Research Summary
For our experiment, the main thing we researched was bacteria. We used six different credible/reliable sources. Our first was the encyclopedia Britannica which was used in order to understand the basic definition of what bacteria is. The second source was science.gov; this was helpful in finding what the basic and most common types of bacteria are. The third source that we used was national geographic. National geographic showed how bacteria is created, an image of a bacteria and the negative effects that it can have on humans. The fourth was Oxford Learners Dictionaries which provided us with more in-depth way of defining what bacteria is and had a useful list of arbitrary facts about bacteria. The fifth source we used was Worldwide Science.org. This source helped us to find and learn about other types of bacteria that we had not already. The sixth and final source that we used was Healthline. This source helped us to specifically learn about bacteria commonly found around most houses.
Refined Knowledge and Questions
So far, our research has led us to find learn about what bacteria is and what some of the different types of bacteria are. We have also learned about how bacteria are created and how different types of bacteria can affect humans. Another thing that we learned from research was common places where there is a lot of bacteria around the house. The final things that our research told us were more facts about bacteria and deeper definitions on it. After doing all this research we have more questions; how long does it take for bacteria to grow about the size of a quarter? Will there be clear reasons why there is more bacteria in some places and not others?[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVGFuZE0lMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tools and Materials

  • 10 Petri dishes
  • Q-tips
  • Nutrient Agar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Stove
  • Kitchen
  • Water
  • Computer
  • Amazon
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • House
  • Thermometer
  • Kitchen Sink
  • Stairs railing
  • Outdoor Flowerpot
  • Bathroom Floor
  • Cat’s Collar
  • Refrigerator Handle
  • Front Door Handle
  • Car Door Handle
  • Garage Keypad
  • Dependent Variable: The dependent variable will be the bacteria growth
  • Independent Variable: The independent variable will be the different locations around the house
  • Control: The control is the one petri dish (with agar) that does not have any bacteria

List of Tests:

  • Control
  • Kitchen Sink
  • Stairs railing
  • Outdoor Flowerpot
  • Bathroom Floor
  • Cat’s Collar
  • Refrigerator Handle
  • Front Door Handle
  • Car Door Handle
  • Garage Keypad

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Procedure and Data

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Journal

All the following dates are from the year 2020
February 2nd: Decided to do our project on bacteria around the school
February 5th: Wrote our object and inquiry
February 10th: Started to look for reliable sources
February 11th: Finished our all sources and explanations on why they are reliable
February 29th: Wrote and finished our research writeup
March 3rd: Completed our tools and materials
March 4th: We wrote our hypothesis
March 5th: Wrote our Action Plan and Timeframe
March 6th: No work done on project
March 7th: Talked about how we will get the bacteria
March 8th: No work done on project
March 9th: Planning out project and when we will start
March 10th: No work done on project
March 11th: Looked for agar on Amazon and got the petri dishes
March 12th: Ordered Nutrient Agar on Amazon; due to Covid-19 and school closures we changed our project from testing in school to around downtown Mercer Island
March 13th: Edited and printed lab report and research write-up
March 14th: Changed how we will be able to do our project because of Corona Virus
March 15th: No work done on project
March 16th: Nutrient Agar was delivered from Amazon
March 17th: No work done on project
March 18th: Due to Covid-19 and self-isolation, had to change project again to just around the house
March 19th: Made the nutrient agar and poured them into the petri dishes then left in refrigerator
March 20th: No work done on project
March 21st: Got the petri-dishes
March 22nd: Swabbed around the house then left the petri dishes in a cold dark room
March 23rd: No work done on project
March 24th: Checked on project, no visible growth yet
March 25th: Worked on the lab report
March 26th: No work done on project
March 27th: Checked on the growth of the bacteria in the petri dishes
March 28th: No work done on project
March 29th: One week after poured, took pictures and growth has started
March 30th: Did more research about bacteria around the house
March 31st: No work done on project
April 1st: Checked on petri dishes
April 2nd: No work done on project
April 3rd: Finished the edited version of the research write up
April 4th: No work done on project
April 5th: Two weeks after poured, took pictures and there is more visible growth
April 6th: No work done on project
April 7th: Had meeting about project
April 8th: No work done on project
April 9th: Edited the tools and materials
April 10th: Checked up on the bacteria
April 11th: No work done on project
April 12th: Three weeks after poured, took pictures and the growth has increased
April 13th: Checked up on the bacteria
April 14th: No work done on project
April 15th: Wrote the procedure and data and edited the lab report
April 16th: No work done on project
April 17th: Checked up on the bacteria
April 18th: No work done on project
April 19th: Four weeks after poured, took pictures and the growth has increases
April 20th: No work done on project
April 21st: Worked on the bibliography
April 22nd: No work done on project
April 23rd: Checked on the bacteria growth
April 24th: Had a final science check-up meeting in Teams
April 25th: No work done on project
April 26th: Five weeks after poured, took final pictures
April 27th: Finished the insights & reflections and the conclusion
April 28th: Finished the abstract
April 29th: Edited, finalized the whole project and turned everything in[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUHJvJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Procedure

If someone were to try and replicate or repeat our experiment, these are the steps that we took in doing ours. First get agar powder and mix with 450 millimeters of water. Then stir on room temperature until it starts to boil, before filling the dishes let it cool to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. After that get a dropper and drop the agar mix into petri dishes until full. Put the lids on and label petri dishes with tape and a sharpie based on where you are going to take the swabs. Then put petri dishes on a trey and the tray in the refrigerator until they harden. After they harden take them out of the fridge and store them in a dark room temperature place. Choose 9 different locations or objects that you are going to swab. Due to Covid-19 we had to do locations around the house. We swabbed the kitchen sink, the refrigerator handle, an outdoor flowerpot, the garage keypad, the front door handle, the bathroom floor, the car door handle, the cat’s collar and the stairs railing. To swab you take a clean Q-tip and lightly rub it on the surface that you are testing. Then you lightly rub it on the agar and dispose of the Q-tip. To keep up on our bacteria growth, we checked up on the bacteria often and took one picture every week. We were able measure the amount of growth by comparing one of the tested petri-dishes to the control petri-dish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRGFuZEElMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Data

 

  • Key=

[/vc_column_text][vc_images_carousel images=”158,159,160,161,162,163″ img_size=”full” slides_per_view=”6″ hide_pagination_control=”yes” title=”Weekly Pictures 1-6 (click to enlarge)”][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”164,165,166,167,168,169,170,171,172″ img_size=”full” title=”Individual Comparisons”][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUmFuZEMlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Results and Conclusion

After our experiment with bacteria around the house, that data in our experiment has led us to determine that the place with the most bacteria is the garage keypad. We determined this because though it was close with the refrigerator handle and kitchen sink, the garage keypad had the most white colored and the most black colored bacteria. In fact, it also had the most variant sizes of bacteria in those two different colors (for the white bacteria there was a lot of really tiny “dot” looking ones and then a lot of larger ones).[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIySWFuZFIlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Insights and Reflections

The results of this lab have led us to wonder about the nature of bacteria itself. Why should it be that bacteria can be found all around you but can’t be seen with just your eyes? I think this means that bacteria are probably almost impossible to completely clear from your house because they are not even perceivable with the human eye. This experiment may have gone better without the Covid-19 pandemic. Without this we would have been able to do our initial project (testing for the bacteria around St. Monica), have easier access to supplies, and be able to work together in person.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyQmliJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Bibliography

Encyclopedia Britannica, “BACTERIA.” Accessed on February 11th.
https://www.britannica.com/search?query=bacteria

This is a reliable source because it is trusted by many scientists

Science.gov, “BACTERIA GROWTH.” Accessed on February 11th
https://www.science.gov/scigov/desktop/en/results.html

This is a reliable source because backed by the United States government

National Geographic, “BACTERIA TYPES.” Accessed on February 11th
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bacteria/?utm_source=BibblioRCM_Row

This is a reliable source because it is nationally used by many researchers

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, “BACTERIA.” Accessed on February 13th
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/bacteria?q=bacteria

This is a reliable source because it is “widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language” (https://public.oed.com/about/)

Worldwide Science.org, “HOW BACTERIA IS CREATED.” Accessed on February 13th
https://worldwidescience.org/wws/desktop/en/results.html

This is a reliable source because it is trusted and used globally

Healthline, “THE NINE DIRTIEST SPOTS IN YOUR HOME.” Accessed on March 30th
https://www.healthline.com/health/germy-places

This is reliable because it is medically reviewed by Dr. Debra Rose Wilson

 

There is no variety of sources because due to Covid-19, we did not have access to get books, etc. (and we did not already own any books on bacteria)[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row]