By Greg Argos

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The CDC has investigated over 20 E-coli outbreaks since 2007. You don’t have to search long to hear about cases of food borne illnesses.

But an invention by a group of local 7th graders could help cut back on those deadly outbreaks.

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This may sound gross but a toilet bowl sink, created by 13 and 14 year olds at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, is meant to wash away any type of bacteria left behind during food prep.

“On a larger scale if this was in a lot of places it would make places where people wash their food, their fruits and vegetables, but also thaw their chickens a lot cleaner,” said Leonarda Lorenz “Lenny”.

The team submitted their idea and were awarded first place statewide in an U.S. Army E-cyber mission competition.

“I was really happy. I’m just so happy at how much they had to work together and collaborate and really self-direct their own leaning to create this final solution that had real world meaning to it,” said science teacher Erik Dreisbach.

From e-coli in your sink to MRSA on sports equipment, Springside Chestnut Hill students were keeping busy. Another team at the school was also being honored.

“We tested basketballs to see if they had a lot of bacteria on them,” said 7th grader Ainsley Rexford.

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The goal for this team is to find the most economical cleaning treatment for sports equipment.

“We wanted to come up with a way for everyday and regular people to clean their sports equipment,” Rexford.

After testing a simple water solution and using Clorox wipes and UV rays, this second group from the same school determined Clorox cleaned the best.

“We did it on 10 different basketballs,” Rexford explained.

Their research earned them a second place finish.

“Our teacher told us we got second place in the state and we were like ‘Oh my gosh’. We totally didn’t expect it to happen,” Rexford explained.

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The students earn U.S. savings bonds and the knowledge knowing their ideas could be used to help save lives.