Allergic reaction sparks award-winning science fair project for Missouri teen
JACKSON, MO — It all started with a tick bite for one southeast Missouri teenager. That bite caused a life-threating food allergy. It resulted in an award-winning science fair project.
Grant Roseman is a home-schooler in Jackson, Missouri. Grant will represent southeast Missouri in Arizona at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May.
“For me, personally, I usually get hives that can last up to two weeks, and I’ve had anaphylactic shock before,” Grant says.
A bite from a tick made him allergic to red meat.
If you check out Grant’s science fair board, you can see he experimented with six different ticks. His goal was to show which one is attracted to carbon dioxide gas the most.
He used dry ice, frozen carbon dioxide gas, to represent the carbon dioxide gas produced by humans.
“I would set the ticks down, and release them with the dry ice on the other end, and see which ones got the farthest,” Grant says.
Here’s what he discovered.
“The Lone Star Tick — the one that causes an allergy — it’s the most aggressive,” Grant says.
Bottom line? The Lone Star Tick seeks out you and your family all because you produce carbon dioxide gas.
“So, the way it detects you is with two organs called the Haller’s organ. Those can detect carbon dioxide, heat, and movement,” he explains.
His research earned him first place at the SEMO Science Fair. Next stop, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.