Idea Bag: Health & Wellness

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"Germs on Me" Family Event

 
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Want to convince your school’s families that washing hands is important? Follow the example of the Moanalua Elementary PTO—it turned the school cafeteria into a top-grade science lab for its "Germs on Me" event. With free help from a science outreach program from local Chaminade University, students ran a variety of experiments that made it easy to see exactly how germs and illnesses spread. Besides learning from a professional nurse how to wash their hands correctly with soap and water (including singing “Happy Birthday” twice!), the kids made bacterial cultures of their hands before cleaning, after washing with water, and after using gel sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. The university crew came back a few days later, when families got to view their hand-washing samples under microscopes: The cultures from the unwashed hands grew spots, smudges, and fuzz (ew!), but the clean-hands samples looked great. PTO leaders also provided dinner for families beforehand, including sandwiches, fruits and veggies, and ice water.

Lori Shimoda, Moanalua Elementary PTO, Honolulu

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