The Cough Against Humanity

In my project, I researched and conducted how far respiratory droplets travel and if face masks and social distancing (6 feet or 2 meters) are sufficient.
Elme Omar
Grade 8


I believe that even with or without a mask, you will still spread respiratory droplets. But that's why the CDC and Health Canada have recommended that everyone stay 6 feet or 2 meters apart from each other with a mask on. Without a mask, you will spread respiratory droplets farther than if you were wearing a mask. I believe that if you weren't wearing a mask and sneezed or coughed, the respiratory droplets may spread over 6 feet. With a mask, I don't think that the respiratory droplets will spread past a foot or 30 centimetres.


Covid-19, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus, is a disease that spreads from an infected person to another. It may spread by an infected person talking, singing, sneezing, yelling or breathing around others. The virus that causes covid-19 may linger in the air in some circumstances depending on the size of the respiratory droplet is and if you are in an enclosed space. Covid-19 is a strain of coronavirus, ‘CO’ standing for corona ‘VI’ standing for virus and ‘D’ standing for disease. The Cdc has stated in one article that a sneeze from covid can spread up to 6 feet or 2 meters away, which is why a lot of stores and malls have 6 feet/2 meter away stickers everywhere.



The controlled variable in this project was the amount of water and glow paint ‘mucus’ i put in the tube to make the figure sneeze and cough out. The responding variable is how far the respiratory droplets travel. Lastly, the manipulated variable is what I put on top of the figure’s nose and mouth, such as when I put on and took off the face mask on the figure. The masks I will be using are the following, N95, KN95 and non-surgical masks.




  1. Grab a container
  2. Grab 2 mini fans
  3. Place the mini fan on the side of the container and mark it with a sharpie
  4. Remove the fan and start cutting out the outline you made of the fan on the container 
  5. Place the fan in the hole without dropping it in the container and glue the fan to the container via the hole
  6.  Drill in the figure a nose and a mouth and behind the head to place the silicone tube
  7. Drill a hole on the side of the container to fit the tube through
  8. Connect the silicone tube to the air duster
  9. Mix water and paint in a bowl, then syringe 2 ml into the tube
  10. Connect the air duster into the tube
  11. Place the mask on the figure's face
  12. Turn on the fans
  13. Then spray the air duster to get your results
  14. Now you can record your results beyond this point





I conclude that wearing a mask is better than not wearing a mask from what I saw. From my first test, the outcomes seemed suspicious because I didn't put the mask on correctly. On my second test, I saw the following; the KN95 face mask was the only mask that didn't keep the respiratory droplets inside the mask. The respiratory droplets spread past a foot and a half, almost hitting the 2 feet mark! But a lot of the heavy respiratory droplets stayed in the mask. And a lot was on the face of the figure.  For the N95 mask, all the respiratory droplets stayed in the mask. For the non-surgical mask, everything remained in the mask luckily because it is the most popular and available face mask on the market


Respritory Droplets Distance Test Metric Units (Meter)
  Distance of Large Droplets Distance of Small Droplets
Without a Mask 0.75 2.3
Improper non-surgical Mask Placement 0.5 0.75
Non-surgical Mask 0 0
N95 Mask 0 0
KN95 0.25 0.6
Respiratory Droplets Distance Test Imperial Units (Feet)
  Distance of Large Droplets Distance of Small Droplets
Without a Mask 2 7
Improper non-surgical Mask Placement 1.5 2.5
Non-surgical Mask 0 0
N95 Mask 0 0
KN95 1 2


 I can conclude that with a mask is better than without a mask for sure. With my hypothesis is was a little off, for the non medical and N95 masks did a really good job at maintaining the amount of respiratory droplets that leave the mask. No respiratory droplets left both of those masks except for the KN95 mask. Some of the respiratory droplets spread past a foot! Almost at the 2 feet mark. Other than that the mask did do okay at keeping the respiratory droplets in the mask. If you wear a good mask and maintain social distancing you will not contract the virus or spread it to others! So lesson we can all take from this project is that you should always keep your mask on and properly. Otherwise you may end up like me while i had covid! And trust me i know from experience covid isn't fun. So be safe and be cautious.


My project could be used as a public health awareness campaign for the importance of wearing a good mask properly and maintaining social distance!

Sources Of Error

I only had one error in my project: On my first test using the non-medical mask, I placed the mask on the figure incorrectly, making the figure's mask too loose.


I want to thank my uncle for helping me build my project. I also want to thank my Science Teacher, Mrs. Ba-saddik, for allowing me to go on to the next level, and I want to thank the science team at my school and the Cysf for allowing me to participate during this pandemic!