Did you know that this year has been officially declared the “Year of Science” in BC? That’s exciting news at EBS, because we LOVE science!

Cold and ‘flu season is here, so our grade 2/3 class used science to investigate why we need to wash our hands. We used four pieces of bread for our experiment. bread_experimentWe rubbed one with dirty hands, one with hands we had just washed, and one on our desk tops. After being treated, each piece was closed into its own labelled plastic bag. Then we talked about watching for changes in the bread over the next week.

The students were asked, “If we observe a change in the bread, how will we know that the change is because of what we did to the bread, and not something that would have happened anyway?” We discussed the idea of a control, and decided to put a piece of untreated bread into its own bag with a clean, rubber-gloved hand. After a week the results spoke for themselves. The children observed the growths of a number of different things on the treated bread. The desk-top piece had a particularly rich collection of different textures and colours, drawing a lot of eewwwwws! from our group of young scientists. And though it wasn’t completely clean, the piece of bread from the washed hands clearly showed us that hand washing really does help to reduce the number of germs. We could not see any changes on the control.

The most exciting result of the experiment is that the kids are now more diligent about washing their hands, and nobody places food on their desk tops anymore! Mission accomplished! Yay science!