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Motivation for washing hands

Next to which sink they are not hanging at the moment - the charts for the correct hand washing. Of course we also follow these and other hygiene precautions in our company and for the protection of all colleagues. Especially with regard to the corona virus SARS-CoV-2.

Relating to the topic of hygiene awareness in schools, colleges and universities, we wrote a contribution to explain students that the stricter hygiene precautions must be implemented in the long term:
How to motivate to wash hands
Which experiments can be carried out with simple tools to discuss the topic of hygiene with students and create further understanding. We would like to present these ideas.


Figure: Viral infections – hygiene works (Reference: Recommendation BZgA – German Federal Ministry of Health)

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» Simulation of proper hand hygiene with UV radiation

Bacteria and viruses are not visible to the eye. Therefore, it is of course difficult for students to estimate the amount and thus the potential transfer from person to person. Using UV-active cream, the students check their hand hygiene in this experiment and independently recognise how important proper hand washing is to prevent viral and bacterial diseases.

In addition to the importance of how long the hands are washed, it also shows which areas, such as the insides of the fingers or even the thumbs, are often not washed completely.

For the experiment you will find the digital experiment instruction: HERE

The experiment can also be performed with any other UV lamp, which meets the safety requirements.

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» Comparing the number of bacteria on cleaned and uncleaned hands

This experiment also makes it clear to the students that washing their hands really does help. The learning effect is very sustainable by examining their own fingers and observing and evaluating the bacterial colonies that are created as a result.

For this experiment you will also find the instruction HERE

We have demonstrated that hand washing reduces the number of bacteria and viruses and is therefore sensible. But do you have to wash your hands that often now?

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» Determining the number of bacteria on banknotes and coins

From this experiment, students can conclude that when handling coins and notes, you are exposed to heavy bacterial contamination. This conclusion is then transferable to many other areas, such as magazines at the doctor's surgery. It becomes clear to the students that the old saying "After the toilet and before eating, do not forget to wash your hands" must be added. Increased hand washing, after contact with such objects, is recommended. They can also discuss why it is not advisable to touch one's face with the hands.

For an experiment on how much banknotes and coins are contaminated with microorganisms, you can find the experiment instruction: HERE

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» Test for microorganisms on various objects

In this experiment, students can examine how the number of microorganisms develops depending on the type of object and the time of examination.

The special feature of the experiment is that the students can choose any object that really interests them. So it can be their own smartphone that is being examined. A second sample can be taken after cleaning it with a disinfection wipe.

Please click HERE for the experiment instruction.