Science Project Summary:

Bacteria and thawing methods

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Difficulty: Advanced 7
Cost ($): 30
Time required: < 1 week
2 day for preparation, 5 days for science fair project
Availability of materials:
Access to laboratory equipment (eg. petri dishes)
Required Skills:
Familiarity with handling of bacteria cultures and access to a laboratory  
Safety concerns:

Always follow laboratory safety guidelines and always practice sterile technique when handling microbes. Never have any food or drink at your workstation and always thoroughly wash your hands with disinfectant soap or alcohol before leaving your workstation. Always dispose of used material in a biohazard bag. If none are available, the bacteria should be destroyed with bleach before being disposed of.

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The aim of this science fair project is to find out which method of meat thawing leads to the least amount of bacteria contamination. This experiment is conducted by thawing the meat over the counter, in the refrigerator and using the microwave oven.
Procedure preview:
1.    The independent variable for this science fair project is the method of defrosting the chicken meat – at room temperature, in a refrigerator and using the microwave. The dependent variable is the size of the bacteria growth in the Petri dish. This is determined by measuring the size of the bacteria growth using a ruler. The constants (control variables) are room temperature, the amount of sunlight and the ingredients in the Petri dish agar. 2.    Prepare  3 Petri dishes are prepared using agar and store themin a refrigerator. The Petri dishes are brought to room temperature before the start .....