Teachers Parents Students

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


thumbnail
As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!

thumbnail
Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades

thumbnail
A fun SimCity science project from Science Buddies helps turn in-game city planning into a science experiment, one students can also use to enter the annual Future City competition.

thumbnail
What do gears and tires have to do with who wins a race—or how long it takes to ride to the corner store? Find out with hands-on sports science projects that help tie science to the sports kids love to do and watch.

thumbnail
When you combine your circuitry know-how with fabric, you can, literally, wear your electronics on your sleeve. Students experiment with e-textiles.



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!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.