After learning all about Florence Nightingale the children in Year 1 wanted to test out her theory that clean hands would reduce the spread of bacteria and diseases.
We first did some research into bacteria finding out that it loves to live and grow in warm moist conditions and then had a discussion about where we would find these conditions. It was suggested that our feet are very warm and moist (this containing lots of bacteria) and so we all took off our shoes and socks so that we could ‘collect’ as much bacteria as possible on to our hands. The children then went in search of other places bacteria would live, the toilets, bins, carpet each time collecting more of it on their hands.
Having collected as much bacteria on our hands (but still not being able to see it) each of the children transferred some of their bacteria on to a slice of bread by holding it and passing it on to the next child. We did this with 3 pieces of bread (ensuring it would be a fair test).
We then spoke about how to kill bacteria when one of the children suggested washing hands with antibacterial soap. We got some antibacterial soap and every child thoroughly washed their hands killing all of the invisible bacteria. Eagerly child then touched 3 pieces of bread in the same way that they did the first 3 slices (again ensuring it was a fair test).
We places the bread on the side of the classroom in plastic wallets and waited to see what would happen.
5 Days later it was clear that Florence Nightingale’s theory was correct.