Science Kids Rock!


Gaby Zane, a fifth grader from Denver, Colorado used her school science fair for a study that got her published in a medical journal! She researched ways to reduce the amount of bacteria in stuffed toys brought into the operating room so that kids could be comforted by their favorite toys while undergoing surgery.

Gaby took inspiration from her mom, an orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital Colorado who told her about “Project Zero Project”, where they try to decrease the bacterial load in the operating room. After thinking about what kids undergoing surgery might be going through, she thought about the items of comfort they would want with them — mostly their favorite stuffed toy. Gaby took those ideas and thought “why not just wash them?” Using scientific method, she set about to test bacterial levels in her and her brother’s stuffed toys, then washing them, and found that 79% of the stuffed animals were effectively sterilized by a single wash in a home washer/dryer and could remain sterilized after being in a plastic bag for up to 24 hours.

Gaby’s idea was a simple one, but proof that a simple idea can lead to a great discovery!

To read the full abstract, visit