YCIS Beijing Students Put Myths to the Test!
As a follow up to last month’s highly successful Primary School Science Enrichment Week, our Years 6–9 students got in on the action by putting together a truly awe-inspiring science fair. With a concept based on the popular television series MythBusters, students were placed in small teams with the goal of designing an investigation to put commonly agreed-upon myths to the test. The findings of some of these investigations were quite amazing!
Myth: McDonalds' Ice Isn't Safe for Human Consumption
One Year 9 team decided to attempt to lay the myth that McDonalds ice cubes are not fit for human consumption to rest. By testing the electric conductivity and PH levels of melted McDonald’s ice and then comparing it against the measurements of household tap water and cleanly distilled water, they found that there was, disturbingly, truth behind this myth. Their results showed that, while McDonald’s ice cubes are not made from tap water, their PH level and average conductivity was much lower than that of acceptable drinking water, proving that McDonalds’ ice is indeed not ideal for drinking. Myth confirmed!
Myth: Your Toilet Is Cleaner than Your Phone
Another took the myth that the screens of our smart phones are actually dirtier than a toilet seat to task. The experiment involved taking swab samples from three phones and three toilet seats, incubating the samples in petri dishes, and then comparing the bacterial growth of each sample with that of similarly incubated fecal bacteria. The student’s original predictions were that their phone screens would produce more bacterial growth than the bathroom toilet seats, and they weren’t completely wrong. While the toilet seats contained quite a significant amount of fecal bacteria, the phone screens housed practically none. In terms of overall bacterial growth, the smart phone screens produced much larger quantities than that of the toilet seat. Based on these findings, the students concluded that as there was almost no fecal bacteria growth on the cell phones, the myth that phone screens are dirtier than a toilet seat is false. Myth busted!
Myth: Beijing's Milk Is Dangerous
The final myth we will highlight is one that hits close to home for all of us who live in Beijing. Based on the contamination scares in 2008, a group of students decided to test the myth that “Beijing’s milk bad for you”. Using milk from the company at the centre of the 2008 scandal, San Yuan, students used gold leaf to find out if there was any form of melamine crystallisation. Traces of melamine (a chemical that causes digestive and reproductive damage) were found within San Yuan’s milk in 2008, but after multiple days of testing, the YCIS Beijing mini-MythBusters found no trace amounts of melamine within Beijing’s milk anymore. Myth busted!
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