Last night Caleb had the school Science Fair. He was very excited to participate in it this year- [we missed it last year]. When he said he wanted to do the science fair, he did not really have any ideas in mind. I naturally turned to Google- to try to find appropriate 1st grade level science projects. I found a great website that had a few examples. I thought Caleb would want to do “Deer”- since my husband feeds them in our backyard and has a game camera to capture them. We also talked about doing the celery with food coloring, or charting [statistics] of who had what allergies in the family, or frogs, bugs, etc. So I presented these ideas to Caleb and he was really excited about doing something about food allergies! I was actually quite surprised! We started talking about different aspects of food allergies, and he got excited when I mentioned cross contamination! He said “Mom! I want to that- because I don’t really know much about it and I should!- because I HAVE food allergies!” So- that was settled!
“Most common top 8 allergens are: peanut, egg, dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish, seafood, treenuts; followed by corn, sesame, strawberry and mustard. You can have an allergy to ANYTHING! Benedryl and Epinephrine help treat allergic reactions. There is NO cure for allergies. (YET!)”
“Cross Contamination happens when unintended allergens are present on surfaces or in foods. Common sources of cross contamination are: Surfaces: tables, toys, doorknobs, faucets, cups, silverware, shopping carts. Saliva: cups, kisses, pets. Manufacturing: unintended ingredients mixed in to foods in production.”
“An allergic person can have deadly reaction called ANAPHYLAXIS from a mere trace of their allergen, especially if it is ingested or inhaled. Some people can’t even touch their allergen without having a severe reaction. This is why CLEANING and HANDWASHING are so important!”
We had 3 dishes of fine glitter to represent different allergens. We let people touch the glitter then touch the different objects to see if they saw the glitter ‘allergens’ on it. Then we had a bucket and rag to show how cleaning with that was not enough to get rid of allergens on a surface [glitter all over the wash cloth!] and how it simply spread the allergens around. We also had a sample sandwich and sunbutter and jelly to show how not using a clean utensil can spread allergens too causing cross contamination of the foods from ‘double dipping’ or from cutting different sandwiches with the same knife. Wearing something like food service gloves helps stop cross contamination when handing different food products.
All the children were having fun touching the glitter then touching objects. This project would be great to bring into the classrooms to help teach about allergens and cross contamination! I am SO proud of the work Caleb did on his project, and what he learned.
Receiving his award from the principal and assistant principal! Caleb is very proud of his medal!