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Glo Germ

Postby ericahilderbrand » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:57 pm


My daughter is 5 years old and in Kindergarten. She is doing a science fair project and was instantly intrigued by the hand washing and Glo Germ idea. I am wondering how I can make this project fit a Kindergarten level and put it in terms my daughter and her classmates will understand and learn from. I was thinking of having her project look at the length of hand washing and how many areas still had germs on them, however, I am still unsure of what direction to take this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Thank you,

Former Expert
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Glo Germ

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:49 am

Hi Erica,

Welcome to Science Buddies! I think you are looking at this excellent project: ... ml#summary

I think the project as written would be suitable for a kindergartener. Since your daughter does not read or write yet, you will have help with explaining the experiment and recording the data. The project suggests having 5 different test subjects wash their hands and then use the UV pen light to find out where the "germs" are hiding after hand washing.

I would not recommend trying to do a complicated experiment like varying the time of hand washing. 20 seconds is the standard time and has been well studied, and I think that comparing results of a few individuals would be plenty to do. Perhaps your daughter could compare results between girls and boys, if she can understand the concept of doing an experiment.

I think most kindergarteners would be able to understand the basic concept in this project, but maybe not the idea of a controlled experiment. However, you should go ahead and do a negative control (use the pen light to examine the test subject's hand before any of the glo germ is applied) and a positive control (after glo germ is applied and before hand washing).

I have not seen the kit that is available from Amazon, but hopefully it includes safety instructions for using the UV pen light and avoiding exposing anyone's eyes to the UV light. It would be a good idea to wear sunglasses or safety goggles that protect from UV light for this experiment. If you do this experiment with more than one child, be sure to have another parent help who will hold on to the light; this is definitely not a toy and the children should not be allowed to play with it. Looking at a UV light is like looking directly at the sun; it can damage eyesight.

Another complication of this experiment is that is involves using humans as test subjects. The rules of the science fair require that informed consent forms be signed by the parents of any other students who participate in the project. Please discuss this with your daughter's teacher to get the details.

Good luck. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Donna Hardy

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