Teacher’s Science Experiment Reveals the Gross Importance of Washing Your Hands

Science Experiments for Kids

Photo: Courtney Lee Simpson

Learning how to properly wash your hands is a valuable life skill, and one that’s often reinforced in school. Getting kids to understand why, however, can be a challenge. Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based teacher Courtney Lee Simpson showed just how important this is—in a disgustingly memorable way.

Simpson introduced the lesson to her Pre-K students and shared it in a now-viral Facebook post. “To all my teacher friends this is the grossest yet coolest experiment,” Simpson wrote. “I did this while teaching about germs and how they spread.” To start, there were three slices of bread: one that was the control; another clean; and the other dirty. She placed the control piece in a bag while wearing gloves. Afterwards, Simpson washed her hands and put the clean slice in its own bag. Finally, she prepared the dirty slice by having every kid in the class touch the bread; it too went in a sack.

Over time, the germs on the dirty slice of bread began to grow. Eventually, it lived up to its classification—and then some—by turning green and moldy. (The other slices fared much better.) “Hands on activities and visuals are very important to use with that age,” Simpson tells My Modern Met via email. “That is how they learn.”

While a memorable science experiment for kids, now hundreds of thousands of adults in the world can picture it every time they need to wash their hands.

Teacher Courtney Lee Simpson introduced a Pre-K class to a cool science experiment that shows the importance of hand washing.

Science Experiments for Kids

Photo: Courtney Lee Simpson

After having all the kids in her class touch a single slice of bread, she let the germs spread and grow moldy over time.

Science Experiments for Kids

Photo: Courtney Lee Simpson

It's a disgusting—yet effective—way to remind you to wash your hands!

h/t: [IFL Science]

All images via Courtney Lee Simpson.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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