Thank you to everyone who joined, stopped by, and volunteered at Saturday's 5th Annual COSI Big Science Celebration – May 6, 2023! It was truly a blast!
This outdoor event had over 100 exhibitor stations with hands-on science hosted by STEM professionals, researchers, and experts from Central Ohio and beyond. This free experience was for attendees of all ages, from infants to seasoned scientists, we appreciated interacting with you all. It is safe to say, that Ohio Communities sincerely enjoyed engaging with subject experts from the many different STEM fields (e.g. automotive engineering, nature conservation, robotics, genetics, archeology, computer engineering, biology, pharmacology, geology, and entomology - the study of bugs), including OSU exhibitors!
The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention collaborated within The Ohio State University's Department of Food Science and Technology to bring you all "Food Science - It's More than Meets the Mouth".
A fascinating experience it was, whether you were interested in learning about the Biofilm Slime Lab and Handwashing Activity - Hygiene as the Best Defense in Reducing Foodborne Illness, the Benefits of Bioplastic over Petroleum-based Plastic Packaging, or even, How the Senses Contribute to Food Intake - A Jelly Bean Activity. They were all very impactful, educational, and above all, fun activities for the participants to engage with.
AS A RECAP:
We brought you all Biofilm Slime, inspired by our international research project, TARTARE in Ethiopia. TARTARE’s goal is to reduce sickness and death from foodborne diseases. Our work focuses on major food safety pathogens in raw beef and dairy products in Ethiopia including Salmonella and Campylobacter. It is the research findings from projects such as TARTARE, that we are sharing with Ohio Communities. Our Biofilm Slime Activity used glitter and slime to educate participants on food safety pathogens (colored glitter) and the biofilm (clear slime) that protects them and makes them resistant.
The GlitterBug Handwashing Activity which has been utilized by the Handwashing For Life (HFL) organization to "Convert Training to Fun and Improved Hand Cleanliness". Our demonstration incorporated a GlitterBug unit and a GlitterBug Potion (and normally a handwash station too). The GlitterBug unit was used as an interactive and educational tool to illuminate (through UV light) the "contaminated" participant's hand and educate them on how easily harmful pathogens can transfer from persons/objects and go undetected due to improperly washed hands.
Note: The GlitterBug Potion (disguised as hand sanitizer) was coated on the participant's hands and used to showcase areas where (invisible) germs were present.
Thus, making every step in the handwashing process important and vital to reducing the incidence of foodborne illness and nosocomial (originating in a hospital) infections caused by poor hand hygiene.
- A handwashing song, a demonstration of proper handwashing technique (to the tune of 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat'), and a handwashing coloring sheet were also incorporated into the above activity.
Thank you all and see you next time for more food safety and food science outreach!