Fighting the Germs!

based on 71 ratings
Author: Dana T.



Why do we get sick? Everyone says it’s because of germs, but what really are germs? Well, there little microorganisms that cause illness. How do we stop them and other diseases from spreading though? I thought I would do a little bit of my own research to find out! This project looks at which method (copper, onion, or sanitizing wipes) helps prevent the spreading of germs and disease.

The methods were tested on pencil and laptop surfaces, acting as everyday surfaces that people touch. I would experiment each method on the two surfaces. I repeated the method three times, to get accurate data. These were measured for numbers of bacteria colonies in an agar dish. After I experimented, I would leave the dishes in a warm, dark, and humid area for the bacteria to grow. I would observe carefully and write down whatever I saw growing in the dishes. I also drew the results in my journal, while taking pictures of each process of my experiment. My hypothesis was for copper to work the best in decreasing the amount of germs.

The experimental results supported two methods, the sanitizing wipe, & copper, while onion made things worse. The sanitizing wipe had the effect of decreasing 9 bacteria colonies off the pencil, while it decreased 21 on the laptop. The copper did well, decreasing 7 bacteria colonies on the pencil, and for the laptop, decreasing 16. Maybe the new look of the future would be to have self-cleaning machines, and items that have copper material within them. I think if I were to continue with this project I would take the process of being a scientist, into the engineer, and try to build self cleaning machines, and copper materials that have less of an odor to it. Overall, this project has taught me about sanitation and how important it is to our daily lives. Stay germ free!


Life Science


7th & 8th grade

Difficulty of the Project

Medium- Hard


$10-$15 Depending on what you may or may not already have in your household.

Safety Issues


Time Take to Complete the Project

Depending on your schedule, it would probably take a month to complete.


  • The project is about explaining the danger and the science of spreading of germs/disease and explains and/or demonstrate possible option(s) for protection and explain the science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics involved.
  • The goal of this project is to find possible options for protection germs/ disease, and demonstrate it with accurate data, and explain a conclusion of a solution to the problem.

Materials and Equipment

  • Timer
  • Cotton Swabs
  • 20 agar dishes (you can make them at home, or talk to your teacher for some)
  • 6 pencils
  • 3 onions
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Laptop or Computer (if you do not have one, you can substitute a doorknob)
  • 3 copper sheets (you local hardware store should have some)
  • 1 roll of copper wire (local hardware store)
  • Incubator or a warm, dark, humid place (a bathroom would be fine)
  • Latex gloves (grocery store)
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