After collecting ticks for her originally intended science fair project, Braintree High School sophomore Jacqueline Flynn decided to pursue a topic on ticks with a different spin (or rather, spin cycle).
Worried about keeping her clothing tick free after collecting the parasitic arachnids, Flynn researched methods of killing them in the laundry. She found a large lack of data on the subject, with recommendations while washing machines were ineffective, that a full hour in a dryer would kill them. However, after her own extensive testing, she found that five minutes on a low-heat cycle would be sufficient.
Soon Flynn's project results garnered attention from the state parks and forestry services as well as officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said they were willing to help her expand on her research. "It just spread very fast," Flynn told the School Committee.
Flynn has taken first place in the Braintree School Science fair for her work and is bound for the Massachusetts State High School Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held at MIT from May 2nd to the 4th.
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~ James Penna