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Werkheiser poses real-life question as state science finalist

Madison Werkheiser's winning science project, "Don't Hurt Me Because I'm Beautiful," studied bacteria growth in cosmetics. (CONTRIBUTED)
Madison Werkheiser’s winning science project, “Don’t Hurt Me Because I’m Beautiful,” studied bacteria growth in cosmetics. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Madison Werkheiser, a sixth-grader at Mill Creek Elementary School, selected a science project for a dilemma that faces most women every day.

Werkheiser’s project, “Don’t Hurt Me Because I’m Beautiful,” earned second place in the junior chemistry division at the Alabama Science & Engineering Fair. The University of Alabama in Huntsville hosted the state science fair on April 3-5.

Werkheiser used samples of five makeup products — mascara, foundation, blush, lip gloss and eye shadow — to determine which one will grow the most bacteria after using the products for one week.

Her hypothesis stated, “If makeup is going to grow bacteria, then it will grow the most bacteria in mascara because that is the wettest part of your face. Additionally, it is in a dark, moist, room-temperature environment without airflow, which is ideal for bacterial growth.”

For her project, Werkheiser was the first-place winner at the regional science fair for the junior chemistry division. She also received a special award from the Army Material Command (AMC).

At the state meet, she also won a special award from Department of Health & Human Services and the only award given in the junior division from the Surgeon General’s Office.

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