How Germs Work
Growing up, we’re always taught about hygiene and keeping ourselves clean, but not usually in such an inventive way as how this teacher did it. Jaralee Metcalf is a behavioural specialist and works with autistic children. She wanted to teach the students how germs work, and why they should keep their hands clean, and she came up with this idea.
Along with a colleague, she got five different slices of bread, putting them each in a separate bag and contaminated them using various methods to show how germs work. While one slice was completely untouched, another two had been touched by hands that had been cleaned with soap and water and hand sanitizer respectively, one had been touched by dirty hands and the other had been rubbed on the laptops in the classroom.
After about three or four weeks, the class had a look at how the bread had developed, and Jaralee took to Facebook to share the results. There was a marked difference between the slices, some of them looking okay and others completely gross.
The slices that were untouched or touched after they had washed their hands were fine, but the others didn’t look too good. In particular, the bread that had been wiped on the Chromebooks was enveloped in mold.
It might have been gross, but Jaralee wanted her students to understand the importance of washing hands as we get into cold and flu season, particularly because she has an eight-month-old baby who she doesn’t want getting sick.
It’s definitely a novel way to drum in the message, but it seems to be working. Her Facebook post has gone viral with 18,000 likes and 66,000 shares, and myriad comments, people saying they’ll use the same experiment to help teach their own children how germs work. Sometimes bread can be contaminated before it’s even out of the bag. A couple of months ago, a rat was filmed coming out of a loaf of bread at a kitchen in a motorway service station. Of course, increases in hygiene and cleanliness have lots of advantages to your health, so hopefully this experiment will make people think in future. Have you tried any similar experiments? Let us know!