Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Social Science on the Go

We got home from Kennewick, WA, late Monday night, exhausted from a great time shopping and traveling and rocking out at the TobyMac concert. Then Caroline reminded me that she had a science fair project due TODAY!

I didn't have time to deal with a science fair project. And anyway, I'm so right-brained, I'm pretty sure my left brain (the logical math and science side) has atrophied!

But, alas, we pulled it out. I mean, what else is a mom to do?

Since there was absolutely NO FOOD in the house, I HAD to go to the grocery store, whether we got the project done or not. But we combined efforts and made it work. I made the sacrifice of shopping at Wal- Mart instead of Safeway, because there are more restroom stalls at Wal-Mart.

Why were we counting restroom stalls, you ask.

Well, we decided that while I was shopping, Caroline would observe which restroom stalls people used the most: the first one, the handicap stall, the one with the door that stays propped open on its own, or the one that closes when it is not in use.

Her sister, Eliza, helped out by observing how many people washed their hands with soap and water, with just water, or didn't wash their hands at all.

They were in there for the hour that I shopped. They compiled data while I piled up snacks and vegies.

We managed to complete the project by 10 p.m., and Caroline was pretty proud of it.

Do you want to know the outcome?

Well, most people used the handicap stall. Mothers with their children always used the handicap stall and even waited for it when other stalls were available.

The next most used stalls were the one closest to the door and the one that stayed open when it was not in use.

The one used the least was the one that closed itself. It was only used when there were no other stalls available.

As for the handwashing, you will be delighted to know that more than half did NOT wash their hands with soap and water after using the restroom!

Tips from Caroline: 1-If you want to use the toilet that is used by the public the least, then choose the one that has a door that closes itself. 2-Don't assume people wash their hands after they use the restroom. 3- Use the sanitary wipes on your Wal-Mart grocery cart handle!

1 comment:

Anna said...

Wow Lori- this is a brilliant bit of science, and a question I just recently discussed with my mom! You are such a wonderful mom and I enjoy looking to your blog for inspirations in mothering Aven. And I would love to get together soon, and do some art? Or drink a beer?