Recently, One of our High Touch High Tech Scientists, Jet Stream Julie, went to teach at an after school elementary program. She taught Germs Make Me Sick© science program to a group of K-3rd graders. The purpose of this experiment is for the children to learn about those nasty little germs that make us sick and to find out how easily germs can be passed around and how you can keep germs off you!
Today I taught the students about germs and their sneaky hiding spots. I opened the program by discussing all the different places that are high traffic freeways for germs.
We discussed the high traffic germ areas is school, such as the back of chairs, door handles, and water fountain handles. We then discussed the places at homes that sneaky little germs like to hang out at like the key boards, light switches, cell phones, and the remote controls! We then discussed what the children thought was the germiest thing in the kitchen, the children all said the garbage can. Then I told them that the kitchen sponge is the germiest things in a kitchen! Lots of ewwww’s after that. Did you know that already?
Next we discussed our favorite restaurants. (The children had a disgusted look on their faces during this discussion!) They now know the seats/booths and menus are another one of the germiest places in a restaurant (as they are not required by law to clean those frequently.)
We then chatted a little about how important hand washing is, and about why our fingernails are cesspools for germs constantly.
Finally on to our experiment! It calls for only three things, red glitter, hand lotion and time. The idea being that our germs (glitter) will end up in an assortment of places. After about 30 minutes later we took a look at the difference places our germs had navigated to. Alas, the germs were everywhere! We had germs on hands, faces, tables, the floor, on clothes, and on virtually every surface students touched! Again, more ewwww’s.
Our take away message was threefold; don’t touch your face, wash hands frequently and one can never use too much hand sanitizer!
They came in knowing a little, yet they left well informed about joining the hand sanitizer nation, and to top it off, they did not even realizing they were learning science. They just thought they were having some fun with Jet Stream Julie!