By Maya Xia

Wearing a mask is important, not only to protect yourself, but also to protect others! There is a higher probability of getting infected with a disease if either person is not wearing a mask. Masks prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching other people, so it is important to wear one to prevent transmission of COVID.
You want your mask to fit snugly over your mouth and nose, with little excess air escaping through the sides. This experiment will test how effective your mask is at preventing particles from escaping.


  • Face shield
  • Cotton 2-layer mask
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Surgical mask
  • Candles (5)
  • Matches
  • Stopwatch


  1. Look at all five masks and hypothesize which one will be the most effective at preventing particles from escaping (which one will take the longest to blow out a candle with).
  2. Light all five candles with a match.
  3. Start the stopwatch, and without a mask, attempt to blow out the candle. Record how long it took to blow out the candle and record your result.
  4. Put on the face shield and attempt to blow out the candle. Record how long it took and record your result.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the cotton 2-layer mask, the neck gaiter, and a surgical mask.