With the huge focus on handwashing recently, Mrs. O’Donoghue’s 1st class conducted an experiment to investigate the effect of washing our hands with soap and water, and then rubbing them with alcohol gel.
The method was quite simple:
- Before lunch, when the boys had not yet washed their hands, we passed around a slice of bread, making sure every student touched it. Then we put it in a sandwich bag, which we labelled ‘Dirty Hands’.
- Next, every student carefully washed their hands with soap and water, dried them, used hand sanitiser and then held their hands high in the air, being sure not to touch anything. We passed another slice of bread around, and every student’s clean hands touched it. We put it in a sandwich bag marked ‘Clean Hands’.
- Finally, we took a slice of bread straight from the packet and put it in a sandwich bag. Nobody touched it so it was marked as the ‘control’ slice.
The three slices of bread were left hanging in the classroom in their bags for over three weeks and the results are astounding! Lots of mould and bacteria grew on the slice the boys touched with unwashed hands, while almost nothing grew on the slice which they all touched after washing their hands and using alcohol gel!
This is proof if we ever needed it of the huge importance of washing and sanitising our hands regularly – especially before eating and after using the toilet.
The photos of the results are below. Well done to all the first class boys on such a successful investigation!