Mythbusting at Rocky Mountain Classical Academy

For the past week, students in Ms. Teresa Brooks’s Middle School science classes have re-enacted Frankenstein’s laboratory. The class has been studying bacteriology, and over the days, Ms. Brooks assigned students to swab different parts of the school. They incubated the samples and then recorded the bacteria growth, calculated rates, and analyzed the differences between samples. Meanwhile, students witnessed the application of the scientific method via clips of a similar study that Discovery Channel’s popular Mythbusters accomplished. The show’s hosts had a budget sufficient to determine the types of bacteria grown. Although RMCA’s students did not go that far, Ms. Brooks and her students had little difficulty in relating the student-prepared cultures to the show's findings.

You have seen lists of the dirtiest objects, no? Look at the photo, below, and see how much more bacteria grew from swabs taken from cell phones. Such yuck covers one entire quadrant. As Ms. Brooks explained, both at RMCA and on Mythbusters, cell phones, keyboards, and sponges are filthier than toilets and floors, a useful applied science lesson.

The entirely opaque quadrant is a student cell phone culture. The "AD Phone" is an adult cell phone culture. Also sampled were a fish tank and the underside of one a table.

Samples in the incubator.