Fourteen-year-old Megan Lange of Auburn, Ala. was recently awarded the “Best in Fair” prize in the Greater Eastern Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair using the Kaivac ATP Rapid Monitoring System.*
The fair consisted of 75 high school students from 19 counties in Southeastern Alabama. By winning first place, Megan is invited to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May.
Selected winners, such as Megan, receive an all-expense-paid trip to ISEF, which is held at different locations in the United States each year. Fifteen hundred students are invited to attend the annual event with an opportunity to win millions of dollars in scholarships and awards from ISEF.
Megan used the ATP Rapid Monitoring System to evaluate the cleanliness of computer keyboards before and after using various cleaning products and systems.
According to John Richter, Technical Director for Kaivac, ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate and is still relatively new to the professional cleaning industry.
“Using the system, a surface area, such as a keyboard, is swabbed,” he says.  “The swab is inserted into the ATP [testing] device, which provides the results in about 15 seconds.”
ATP levels indicate the amount of organic soils on a surface. While the presence of ATP is not necessarily a danger, its existence signals pathogens can be on the surface that can potentially present health risks.
“We use the ATP system here at work,” says Megan’s father, Dr. Clifford Lange, with Auburn University, Auburn, Ala. “My daughter saw how it works and its potential and came up with the [science project] idea. Apparently, it was a pretty good idea.”
* Using the ATP Rapid Monitoring System, Megan has also won the Award of Excellence presented by the Society of Women in Science and Mathematics and the Air Force Outstanding Achievement Award.