Join the Public Invention Stay-at-Home STEM Project!

Public Invention is kicking off a Stay-at-Home Stem Project to raise awareness and money for our Rapid E. coli presence detector project. Affectionately called the “Wet Poo” project by our team, we want to eliminate the 2.2 million deaths each year caused by waterborne disease and contaminated drinking sources and we need your help! We’re looking for any junior scientists interested in learning about the impact of science in the real world.

All we need is your $20 donation and shipping information to send you the Stay-at-Home STEM kit and science will be at your fingertips in no time!

Participation in this project is limited to the first 20 participants, but if we receive enough interest there will be more!

Parents, please use your discretion: this project requires adult supervision for younger participants. In addition, at the end of incubation the Petrifilms contain microorganisms that may be a potential biohazard. Please carefully seal the Petrifilms in the provided return envelope and place the envelope in the mail so that we may dispose of them properly.


Through participation in this project you will learn how to collect water samples to test for bacterial contamination and track E. coli growth in just two days! E. coli is a bacteria that is not necessarily harmful itself but serves as an excellent indicator of water source contamination. Being able to map local water sources and track the presence of E. coli can help scientists identify sources of contamination and identify public health risks. We hope to create an interactive map showing water quality across the country collected by citizen scientists like you! Your donation helps fund this fun project and helps us make solutions to allowing developing countries to test their water quickly and efficiently.

This kit comes with all of the equipment you need to successfully perform the experiment, and you should not need to purchase any items. The only items you will need to provide include: a camera (your phone camera works!), a permanent marker, and a notepad or something to take notes on.

Check out our video below for instructions and a glimpse of what you will learn to do! We will also provide you a print out of the instructions with your project kit, but feel free to take an early look here.

Please email with any questions or concerns.
For additional information on the Rapid E. coli and portable incubator projects that inspired this project please check out their respective Public Invention project pages:
Rapid E. Coli Presence Detector:
Moonrat: A Portable Incubator:
World Health Organization Article on the global burden of water sanitation:
WetPooRevised (1)