Elementary School’s Science Experiment With White Bread Is Going Viral


The flu season is here, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting widespread influenza activity in 23 states. However, if you want to tell people to be careful, stats rarely get the point across. Especially if you’re dealing with kids.

Jaralee Metcalf is a behavioral specialist who works in an autism unit with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Recently, she and her coworker – special education teacher Dayna Robertson – found an experiment on the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital website, called “How clean are your hands?”

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

“We chose this experiment because we had been learning about decaying leaves and mold and flu season was approaching,” Jaralee Metcalf told Bored Panda. “We decided it would be an awesome mold experiment to learn about germs by using moldy bread!”

Together, they put five slices of bread in separate bags. One slice was inserted untouched, another one was touched by kids with unwashed hands, one was touched by kids who washed with soap and water, and one was touched by kids who used hand sanitizer. Finally, they added a slice that they rubbed on the classroom Chromebooks.

Mold started forming on some of the slices in just a couple of days.

The mold that formed from the Chromebooks

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

Here’s the untouched slice of bread

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

The one that was touched by kids with dirty hands

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

The slice that was touched by washed hands

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

And the one that was touched by kids who used hand sanitizer

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

And it worked. “The students were very involved, they usually are with hands-on experiments!” Metcalf said. “Since the results were so shocking, the students and staff have taken a very serious turn toward better hygiene. Students from different classrooms in the entire school have come to our class to look at the moldy bread and learn about handwashing.”

Metcalf also wanted to use the opportunity to tell all the parents that hand washing isn’t always enough. “If you send your child to school when they are sick, they put everyone at risk. Including teachers and our families! I’d like to urge parents to keep their sick children at home!”

Metcalf described the experiment in a Facebook post, and it instantly went viral

Image credits: Jaralee Annice Metcalf

Here’s what people said about it



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