One teacher's simple (and disgusting) experiment drives home the importance of hand washing

One of the most major breakthroughs in preventing the spread of illnesses and infections in hospitals was embarrassingly simple. Wash your hands. In 1846, Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that hand washing played a vital role in the spread of germs, and the practice soon became mandatory in hospitals. The simple act of scrubbing hands with soap and water literally saved lives.

Getting a kid to wash their hands, however, can be an uphill battle. One teacher did a simple experiment to show her students just how important hand washing is.


"We did a science project in class this last month as flu season was starting," teacher Dayna Robertson wrote on Facebook. "We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks." Robertson later noted that they normally do make a point to sanitize the classroom Chromebooks, but didn't that day in the name of science.

RELATED: A 5th-grader made a discovery about stuffed animals and germs. It landed her in a medical journal.

The bread was put into plastic bags and the germs were left to fester. The bread that had been touched by unwashed hands and the bread that had touched the Chromebook had the most mold on it. The experiment proves that nothing beats soap and water. The bread that had been touched by hands washed with soap and water remained (relatively) good enough to eat.



This experiment has been done before, but Robertson expanded on it by testing the effectiveness of hand sanitizer. The bread that had been touched by hands cleaned with sanitizer also had a fair amount of mold on it, although not as much as the bread touched by unwashed hands.

"As somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired," Robertson wrote. "Wash your hands! Remind your kids to wash their hands! And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!! At all!" It's kind of making us retroactively gag over seeing port-a-potties with hand sanitizer set up in lieu of sinks.

The experiment was prompted by a different science lesson. "We had just finished a science lesson on how leaves break down during winter. The kids were kind of grossed out by the mold, so we decided to run our own version using germs and mold from our own environment," Robertson told Scary Mommy.

RELATED: A brutally honest kindergarten teacher shares five reasons why she quit the profession

Weirdly, the classroom experiment received some criticism. "Lots of people actually DEFENDED not washing their hands!" Robertson told Scary Mommy. "That was shocking! It really was just a simple classroom experiment to teach about mold but we have all learned more about how easily we can spread the germs we can't see."

The moral of the story is, please, please remember to always wash your hands.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

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Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon