HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) --- A local seventh grader is headed to Washington, D.C. after his science fair project was picked to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS science competition in the nation’s capital.
His project, entitled “The Debate on Your Plate” asks the question: “Are there antibiotics present in the meat that we buy at the supermarket?”
Chad got the idea when his dog, "Buddy", got sick with a disease. “We kept pumping him up with antibiotics,” said Chad. “He just wasn’t getting better.”
After doing some research, the Topsail Middle School student learned that it’s possible for bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics due to over-exposure. From there, he was off to the races.
He decided he wanted to know if antibiotics were present in the food that we eat every day. Then Chad and his dad headed off to twenty grocery stores across the area to pick up meat samples to be tested for traces of the drugs.
By seeing how well bacteria spores would grow in serum extracted from the meat, Chad determined that fifteen percent of the meat sampled did in fact contain some level of the drugs.
“I was just shocked,” said Chad. “I thought maybe 1 or 2%, but 15% is staggering.”
This project went on to take top prize at the North Carolina State Science Fair at N.C. State this past year, the same fair Chad won last year as well. Now he’s ready to compete against the top thirty entries in the country.
The Broadcom MASTERS competition runs from September 30th to October 4th in Washington. Chad was selected out of nearly 1,500 applicants. The potential top prize is $25,000.