Idaho classroom science experiment goes viral

Posted at 6:11 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 20:11:59-05

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) — With flu season upon us, Dayna Robertson's class at Discovery Elementary decided to see just how important washing our hands was…using bread.

"Everybody touched it and made sure that, you know, we got it nice and dirty," Robertson said.

The experiment separated five pieces of bread into different ziplock bags. Before each sliced was stored, it was either rubbed on classroom laptops, passed around students with dirty hands, passed around after the students had put hand sanitizer on, or passed around after the students had washed their hands with soap and water. The final piece was stored fresh and untouched.

"I didn't think it was going to be as shocking as they were," Robertson said.

After 3-4 weeks, students started to see their classroom germs come alive before their eyes as mold began to grow on the slices. A big shocker was the bread from the classroom laptops, it had turned completely black. An even bigger shock was the mold that formed on the piece of bread that had been passed around after the students put hand sanitizer on.

"You know everybody kind of relies on those hand sanitizers to and to see results that were this drastic kind of made everybody realize that maybe we're a little bit dirtier than we thought," Robertson said.

The experiment results weren't only sealed in the plastic bags, the students decided to change as well.

"Look at this dirty hands, so that means always wash your hands," Jackson said.

"Always wash your hands," Lincoln said.

"I should wash my hands," Cole said.

Behavioral specialist, Jaralee Metcalf shared the experiment results on her Facebook page, and the post went viral with currently forty thousand shares.

"Tagging their friends or other teachers and being like 'have you ever done this, you should do this, this is so cool.' A lot of, 'that's really gross,' because it is really gross," Metcalf said.

Although the bread will ultimately get thrown away, the impact it made will remain.

"We've been wiping things down and washing our hands more frequently," Robertson said.