Tag Archives: Growing Bacteria Experiment

Think Twice Before You Double-Dip That Chip – Petri Dish Test Tells All

Double-Dip QuestionIf you’re a Seinfeld fan, you undoubtedly remember George Costanza’s double-dip chip episode where he takes a chip, dips it, take a bite and dips it again – the famous double-dip. The best line in the whole episode comes from the guy at the party who confronts George and says, “When you take a chip… just take one dip and end it!” When my son, Jack, saw the episode, the light bulb went on and a science fair project was born. Of course, this science-loving 5th grader isn’t the first to come up with such a test, but Jack wasn’t afraid to challenge others who’ve come up with the conclusion that the act of double-dipping your chip is no big deal. And the conclusion… you’ll have to look at the Petri Pudding picture below to see for yourself (hint: don’t double dip!)

If you’re looking for a cool science fair project, take a look at Jack’s Double-Dip Chip Challenge. Jack used Comic Life software on his iMac to present his science fair project in a more eye-catching style than the traditional tri-fold board format. This, too, was a little experiment to see if more people would stop by the table and view the project… and it worked. Please understand that he had permission to depart from the “standard” format, but the results are very cool. Download a PDF of Jack’s Double-Dip Chip Challenge.

Double-Dip Hypothesis Double-Dip Experiment-1 Double-Dip Experiment-2 Double-Dip Experiment-3 Double-Dip Discovery Double-Dip Results


Here’s what we shared with 9News viewers…


Here’s the original George Costanza clip from the double-dip chip episode…


Growing Bacteria Experiment Helps BJ and Howie from Alice 105.9 Search for "Things" in the Studio

The growing bacteria from the 9News experiment

BJ and Howie are familiar voices to morning listeners of Alice 105.9. Whenever their conversation veers off on a science tangent, I know that my phone might ring. Several months ago, Howie was so certain that the studio was infected with mold spores that he paid to have his workplace tested. Any guesses? That’s right… no mold of any significance. Today’s issue is one of bacteria and germs.

Listen to the Interview on Alice 105.9

Early last week, Mikey the morning show producer called our office and order a Growing Bacteria Kit. Like good little science soldiers, they cooked up the nutrient agar and prepared the Petri dishes. The next day, Howie followed the growing bacteria instructions and swabbed areas of the studio where he thought the germs and bacteria were running wild. After letting the “stuff” grow for a few days, BJ and Howie invited me down to the studios for a quick look at their science project.

Here’s the important point… unless you have the samples professional tested by a qualified biologist in a lab, there’s really no way of knowing exactly what is growing on those dishes. I’ve been told by microbiologists at the University of Colorado at Boulder that while the “hairy” stuff looks bad, it’s probably nothing more than common mold. On the other hands, those  brightly colored dots (red, orange and yellow) are probably something much more serious… but that’s as much as anyone will say until a “real” test is performed.

microbe-familySo, to console BJ and Howie, I took them some cuddly Giant Microbes (Flesh Eating Disease, Mad Cow, Salmonella) and also invited them to touch 50,000 volts of electricity in hopes of killing off any lingering bacteria.

Listen to the interview…