I am choosing a topic for my 8th grade honors science fair and have a few questions.
I was thinking about comparing food trays, at five fast food restaurants, to see which is the "cleanest/dirtiest". I know bacteria can be difficult to identify, outside of a lab, so should I keep it simple and not attempt to identify any of the samples? I'm thinking that I would take a swab on a tray at each restaurant, then clean the same area with an alcohol swab and re-swab (to have a controlled variable). Each would be in a petri dish (agar) so...10 dishes. What's the best way to state this? Should it only be looking for bacteria growth...the amount? I'm interested in this idea but am not quite sure the best approach. Would it be better to compare the trays to another item in each restaurant, like the bathroom faucet or door handle?
I did not find the right solution from the internet.