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Smart Hand Washing

It's no secret that good hand washing is important in stemming the flow of germs and reducing the transmission of viruses and bacteria. My preschooler knows that the first thing he's supposed to do when he gets to school is wash his hands. That rule was adopted last year in response to a stomach virus that almost shut the school down at one point in the winter. Kids are particularly prone to touching things they shouldn't and putting fingers where they shouldn't, but all of us pick up and carry germs on our hands. A few years ago, Good Morning America tracked a group of college students during a regular day and discovered, maybe not surprisingly, that hand washing skills could use improvement. Even pressing fingers onto a couple of prepared agar plates and taking a look under a microscope might send you running for a bottle of hand sanitizer. So, what's the best way to wash hands to help protect yourself and others?

While you should wash your hands for at least twenty seconds and always after sneezing or blowing your nose, it's also important to keep in mind that it's harder to get germs off of some parts of the hands than others. The "Spread the Soap, Not the Germs" Science Buddies science fair project idea uses Glo Germ gel and an ultraviolet pen light to help students see the germs and detect areas of heaviest concentration. A little ultraviolet light can go a long way to exposing what they're carrying around and leaving behind on every book, doorknob, and cup they touch.


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

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Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

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Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

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School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

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With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

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Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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