Teaching children to love science can be difficult. Getting kids to wash their hands can be even more so. Well, one teacher in Gray's Creek, North Carolina, has managed to do both for her class in one foul, really gross swoop.
In a post that's gone viral on Facebook, Donna Gill Allen showed off a neat experiment she did with her class to teach them about the importance of washing their hands.
"To all my teacher friends this is the grossest yet coolest experiment," she wrote. "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".
And boy does the bread change.
The control bread and the slice that had been handled with washed hands show little signs of mold, whilst the bread that had been handled with "dirty hands" is covered in mold, due to the spores the children had wiped all over it. Feeling an urge to wash your hands?
The experiment has been met with praise online, with people calling it a great idea and a cute way to teach kids about germs. It could also be used to teach science classes about using controls in studies.
Other commenters have also suggested that this needs to be shown to adults, who clearly aren't taking hygiene seriously enough, and have tagged people who should wash their hands more.
If this hasn't grossed you out enough, check out this experiment from Buzzfeed that looks at how McDonald's burgers don't ever appear to go moldy, despite being left out for a long time. To understand why, check out the full explanation of what's going on here.