For those of you who weren't in school for the last week before we closed, this investigation may seem a little strange.
We wanted to find out how quickly germs spread and why it's so important to wash our hands properly. So we went around spreading 'glitter germs' and see how they spread from person to person and onto surfaces and we also set up an investigation to see where the germiest places were!
We used pieces of bread (as they work as very good 'petri dishes' that real scientists use) and wiped them on different places: from hands washed with soap and water, to the toilet flush! Unfortunately, Miss Candy didn't remember to take photographs of them once we placed them in their sealed bags - oops!
But... 1 week later, here are the results:
Look carefully at each picture. On some, you may notice up to 3 different colours of mould (yuck!).
Some of the results may have surprised you though. You may be shocked to see only a small amount of mould on areas that you would think dirty and more on surfaces that are supposed to be clean (e.g. clean hands with soap and water).
But have a think why this might be...
Did the same person do the entire investigation? NO!
Did each person really press their hand into the bread with the same force and therefore cover it better? NO!
Like everything, there is room to improve this investigation by making it more of an effective fair test. On this occasion, more than one variable had changed and therefore it was not a fair test.
However the message is still clear... WASH YOUR HANDS PROPERLY WITH WARM WATER AND SOAP FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS AND WIPE SURFACES DOWN REGULARLY WITH DISINFECTANT TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF BACTERIA!
If you want to retry this investigation at home and make it more of a fair test then feel free to do so!
Interestingly enough, the antibiotic called Penicillin was actually accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, when he came back from a holiday and found that a green mold called 'Pennicilium notatum' had contaminated Petri dishes in his lab and were actually killing some of the bacteria he'd been growing and studying!
Why not read more about Alexander Fleming and his life-saving discovery or even find out more about mould and how useful and important it is to the world and the circle of life?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/clips/zd2qxnb - Alexander Fleming
https://sciencing.com/different-kinds-bread-mold-5956459.html - to investigate moulds.