Hand Washing Experiment: Introduction
Think about the following questions. When was the last time you washed your hands? Did you use soap? What have you done since you washed? Have you eaten, put your fingers in your mouth, or touched someone else?
Thoroughly washing your hands can be one of the best ways to prevent the spread of pathogens that cause illnesses such as colds, flu, and diarrhea. Our hands pick up microscopic pathogens from objects, such as doorknobs and stair railings, touched by other people who may not wash their hands very well. Think about all the things you touch each day and how many people may have touched them before you.
When we forget to wash our own hands, or don't wash them properly, we can spread these pathogens from our hands to our internal systems by touching our eyes, mouth, nose, cuts on our bodies, or the food that we eat. In this group activity, you and a partner will test the effectiveness of different hand-washing times, techniques and materials.
Safety Notes ▪ Be sure you are using washable paint that can be removed with soap and water. ▪ Wash your hands carefully after completing the lab activity. ▪ Be sure that you have permission and supervision from a guardian before completing this lab activity. ▪ Do not touch your face with paint and avoid getting paint in your eyes. ▪ Protect the work surface, using newspaper or other covering, and wear an apron or old clothes.
▪ Timer or watch that counts seconds ▪ Sink ▪ Blindfold ▪ Washable paint or food coloring ▪ Paper towels ▪ Soap ▪ Partner (this can be a friend or family member) ▪ Newspaper to protect the work surface (optional)
Question: How long does it take to effectively wash your hands?
Procedure 1. Pick one person to be the hand washer and one person to be the timekeeper. You will both have the opportunity to complete each of