Don't Be A Sourpuss!

Raised: $345.00
Goal: $5,000.00

Created by

Steve Behram

56 Friends

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pledged of $5,000 goal
Campaign Ended.

Updated posted by Steve Behram 14 months ago

Another quick update...from Cameron. My dad just told me about a story about us by Ms. Laura Sesana from the Washington Times! Thank you, thank you, thank you x 1,000,000. Ms. Sesana you're the best and we appreciate your story. You can check at the bottom of our page for the link!


Updated posted by Steve Behram 15 months ago

Just an update from Cameron & Alex: The Potomac Patch and WJLA decided to do a story on our project. We will post links shortly. Thanks to everybody for supporting us!!!


Updated posted by Steve Behram 15 months ago

Hi everybody, Cameron here. We got a letter yesterday from a lawyer telling us we have to change the name of the project (no, it wasn't aunt Sepideh!). My parents can give you all the details! Anyway, the project name is different and some of the perks are different but the project is still the same. Hope you have a nice day!

1 - 3 of 4 Updates
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Created by Steve Behram on April 8, 2013

The "Don't Be A Sourpuss!" project is our attempt to develop a testing mechanism to detect changes in milk without having to use your nose! We don't think anyone should have to perform this task ever again!

Project Background
Hi, my name certainly is not Steve Behram! Steve is my dad and he's sponsoring my brother and me in our very first project on this website. I am nine years old and my brother is only seven!

Picture of my little brother testing his safety goggles with a hammer!  Geez!
Picture of my little brother testing his safety goggles with a hammer! Geez!

The purpose of this project is very simple. My mom, Nancy, constantly asks my dad, my brother or me to smell the milk to see if it's still good to drink. You see, she's worried she can't tell for sure and she doesn't want to drink milk that's gone bad. So every morning, or at least once a week, we have to smell the milk for mommy.
Picture of me and my brother with our stash of chocolate we won at Hotel Hershey!  Milk anyone?
Picture of me and my brother with our stash of chocolate we won at Hotel Hershey! Milk anyone?

Here is how we got started on the "sour milk" project.
One day I told my dad that it would be a really really good idea if we can make a tester for the milk so we wouldn't have to sniff the milk anymore. He thought that would be a great idea and he told me to read about why and how milk sours so that I could build a tester. He brought me some pH paper from his work. I'll tell you about that in a few minutes.

I researched about "sour milk" on my Chromebook which I got for Christmas and I found an interesting article on Wikepedia. I learned all that there is to know about "sour milk" and how it happens. I won't bore you or gross you out with the details.
Building Our Test StripsMy dad explained to us about pH paper and how it changed color in the presence of acid. We had to figure out how to test the milk without soaking the test strip or messing up the milk. My brother and I had a lot of different ideas so we did a lot of experiments to test them all out.

I have to admit that dad had to help us a little bit here. After all, all three of us were desperate not to have to smell milk anymore.

Cross section of our advanced sour milk detector.

We then make a little hole where the tongue appears on the decal. This allows for a little fluid to reach the membrane.
How It WorksThe test strips can now be peeled off and attached to the inside flap of the carton of milk or the lid of a jug of milk. As you pour out milk, the milk slides over the test strip. The tiniest amount goes through the membrane. The pH paper underneath changes color.
As a result, the color of the tongue on the decal tells you whether the milk is good to drink!

The decal's tongue changes color to tell you whether you should chug it or chuck it.

Mommy Instructions

Dear Mom,
I put a fresh test strip in the milk. Please pour yourself a nice cold glass of milk. If the tongue in the picture stays blue-green, you're good to go. If not, then please don't drink the milk and tell daddy to go get some from the store. We love you.
Your Boys.

Project Funds

Much of the funding we receive will go towards building and producing the sour milk test strips as described here. Although the test strips we are building are really cool, we can do better.
We want to build an app for the iPhone that will tell you when your milk is sour. They make a device that connects to the phone that you can purchase that can sense the pH of different foods. The device is called the Sensorex pH-1 meter and we need to get that before we can work on Phase II of our project (aka: "The iPhone sour mild detector"). We also need to buy some probes, solutions and a chemistry set and supplies.
In order to get all the parts that we need, we are asking for your support. Everyone who helps out will receive updates as to how things are going with our project. My brother and I plan to use this for our Science Fair project at school. Without your support, we will not receive any funds that we can use for the next step.
A portion of each pledge will also go to our schools' science program. This makes it a win, win, win situation for everybody!

Perks, perks, perks!If you think this project is a cool idea, we would love to send you some of our test strips for you to try out! If all you want are the super high-tech sour milk detectors, no problem. We would be happy to send them to you to try out. You can order either five or twenty-five (see the first couple of perks on the bottom of this post). However, we would hope you would consider one of the following hilarious items listed below for you additional enjoyment!

A small refrigerator magnet to let the world know of your contribution in eliminating the sour milk problem!

A gorgeous mug for your milk drinking enjoyment!

A dashing t-shirt which will definitely get you noticed and make people laugh!

A cozy and fashionable hoodie with our mission embroidered for all to see!

An elegant black t-shirt with our logo.

Project Update

5-2-2013: The Potomac Patch's Ms. Thornton decided to do a cool story about our project and some of the ups & downs of our efforts. You can read more about this article here.

5-3-2013: WJLA's super-nice Ms. Donelan and her photographer interviewed me for their TV news program. You can read the article and watch the interview here.

5-7-2013: The Washington Times' Ms. Sesana did a wonderful write up on us. You can read about it here

Thank you so much for your support. We hope we can keep you posted.


Have Questions? Contact the organizer of this campaign now:


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Just saw this on tv. Keep up the good work! I Hope you make this happen.

posted by Chris Fockler 15 months ago

I just saw this tonight on WJLA Ch 7 in DC. Keep up the good work. Since the two of you are under 18 I would love to see how far they would get. Sounds like California is crying over sour milk.

posted by Michael Rocker 15 months ago

Just saw this...I'm sharing this with my kids. :0) I am happy to support the efforts of the little geniuses!

posted by Marcia Trevor 15 months ago

Hey, that's such a clever idea -- I wish I had thought of it! Good luck you guys. Hope you get the funding to make this happen!

posted by Sally Gilbert 15 months ago

1 - 4 of 4 Comments

Recent Supporters (10)

$345 raised by 10 people in 15 months.

Grad Student


Laura Sesana

14 months ago


Good luck, guys!

the lab rat


Betsy Dietz

15 months ago

the lab rat


Brian Dennis

15 months ago


Good luck guys! I usually use my cat. If she doesn't drink the milk, I know it's spoiled. Now she won't be a "sour puss".

Lab Assistant



15 months ago


Great idea! I will spread the word Uncle TED

Grad Student


Rob Grauzlis

15 months ago


Good luck guys! As a cereal lover myself, I think this is a fantastic idea :) - Uncle Rob




15 months ago




15 months ago




15 months ago

Nobel Laureate


Master Sharma

15 months ago


Cameron and Alex: What a great idea! Next time you are in class, we will have you mention this project to all the kids...bring a lot of flyers to pass out. Good Luck! Master Sharma

the lab rat


William Strahan

15 months ago


1-10 of 10 supporters


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