How Germs Spread on Hands

How Germs Spread on Hands - No A? Walk Away!Guiding Question:
How do germs spread from a sick person’s hand to another person?

Materials:
cocoa powder; table set like restaurant; sink

Procedure:
Place one cup of cocoa powder in a large bowl. This powder represents germs on your hands.

Coat hands thoroughly in cocoa powder. Touch things as you would normally in a public restroom (sink, soap dispenser, etc.) and then at a restaurant table (utensils, chair, etc.). Notice how the powder comes to rest on various surfaces.

Additional Questions:
If there were two or more people participating in the experiment (each with a different colored powder), how quickly would their germs begin to move from one person to another?

How many surfaces in a public restroom or restaurant are touched by more than one person?

If the powder represented cold or flu germs, how easy would it be for a sick person to pass their germs onto a healthy person?

Try using different colors of cocoa powder or powdered sugar on the hands of different people. Which surfaces had the most “colors of germs” on them?

Related Video:
Hand Washing

Extra Credit:
Take a look at our blog post tutorial for this activity and leave a comment with your stories and suggestions.