After a discussion about germs (bacteria and viruses), how they are passed, and where they are found, I sent my second grade scientists out to swab germ hot spots around school. When they returned, they gently rubbed their Q-tips over agar in Petri dishes. Click here to watch a child-friendly video about viruses. Hope this lesson helps us to have a healthy school year!
Watch the video to learn more about this investigation:
Check out some of our Petri dishes below. Note: We did not swab the hand dryer in the bathroom. We held the Petri dish under the dryer to see if it would blow germs into it.
After we swabbed the Petri dishes, we completed an investigation to demonstrate the importance of using soap during handwashing. We dropped pepper (germs) in water inside small Petri dishes. We placed a clean Q tip inside the Petri dish, but the pepper did not move. Then, we dipped the Q tip in soap. This time when we touched the pepper, it moved quickly to the sides of the dish. The soap broke the surface tension of the water.