Getting kids, teenagers, and even some adults to understand the importance of cleanliness can be a difficult job.
Because we can't see microscopic germs or the immediate effects they have on our health, it's easy for many of us to assume they can't hurt us or make us sick. Often times, seeing is believing. That's why Donna Gill Allen, a health occupation teacher at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, came up with a fun experiment to show her students exactly what happens when they don't wash their hands.
Allen placed three slices of bread inside plastic bags, using gloves for the first, freshly washed hands for the second, and for the third, she passed it around the class and let everyone touch it before bagging it. A few days later, the differences spoke for themselves.
Here's how she explains the experiment:
To all my teacher friends this is the grossest yet coolest experiment. I did this while teaching about germs and how they spread. You use three pieces of bread. You let all the kids see you put a piece of bread in a baggy with a glove on hence "controlled" then you wash your hands and put a piece of bread in a baggy for "clean" last but definitely not least you pass a piece of bread around and let every kid in class touch it then you put it in a baggy and label it dirty. Watch how the bread changes over time due to germs. It is so cool and a great way to teach the importance of hand washing.