Teacher's Clever, But Totally Gross, Experiment Teaches Kids The Importance Of Washing Their Hands

"Watch how the bread changes over time due to germs."

Most kids don't have excellent hygiene and are probably sick of being told to wash their hands. But this teacher has come up with a clever way to show them why it's so important they do. 

Donna Gill Allen has the "grossest yet coolest experiment" to help teach kids about germs and the importance of washing up. Last month, Allen, a teacher and school nurse at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, shared her simple experiment on Facebook

"I did this while teaching about germs and how they spread," she wrote. "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." 

The results are striking. In the photo Allen shared, the control slice and the slice of bread that was touched with clean hands look completely edible. However, the bread that was touched with "dirty hands" is almost entirely covered in mold. Allen didn't specify how much time had passed since handling the bread and putting them in bags, but does it really matter? You can't look at this photo without wanting to wash your hands. 

The post has since been shared over 71,000 times and has over 47,000 likes. Many teachers and parents have thanked Allen for sharing the experiment with them and commented that they plan to use it to educate their students and children. We'd imagine there are also plenty of adults who could use this as a reminder of the importance of cleaning their hands.

One commenter added an important tip for those who hope to recreate Allen's experiment. "Make sure you use preservative-free bread," she wrote. "I did a sixth grade science project (decades ago!) My mother's homemade bread started growing mold after three days, Wonder Bread grew NO mold at all. Not after a week. Not after a month ... " 

Noted. Also, that's slightly disconcerting. 

Anyway, what's actually the best way to wash your hands, according to science? Find out here

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