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Microbes Are Everywhere

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, Deanne B. Erdmann, MS, Sonia Rahmati Clayton, PhD, and James P. Denk, MA


Have the students compare and describe microbe growth on nutrient agar plates inoculated with swabs from (1) unwashed hands and (2) hands washed with soap and rubbed with hand sanitizer. 

Lead a class discussion about the importance of hand washing. Emphasize that this simple step is the most effective way for us to help control the spread of microbes and disease. 

View this short video from the CDC, demonstrating proper hand washing technique and the importance of washing hands: 

Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu

Have students compare and describe the results from similarly inoculated Petri dishes, after three days, with one dish stored in a refrigerator and the other incubated in a warm place. Help the students to understand the importance of refrigerating leftover food as a means to help control microbe growth.

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605