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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

Companion Resource

Show Them The Germs!

This activity helps students to understand how germs are spread and how they can prevent disease by washing their hands properly.

Time to Complete
  • Glo Germ™either the oil liquid, gel, or powder; purchase from Glo Germ™ by calling 1-800- 842-6622 or online at
  • UV lamp; available through many online retailers
  1. Glo Germ™can help student to visualize “germs.” Glo Germ™products are made of tiny plastic particles that are only visible under an ultraviolet light. The florescent glowing particles represent “germs.” Before class, rub some Glo Germ™ liquid, gel, or powder on your hands.
  2. Shake hands with students as they enter your classroom. About halfway through class (approximately 20 minutes), students should place their hands under an ultraviolet light.
  3. Their hands will glow, indicating that the teacher’s “germs” were passed to them. Furthermore, anything the students touched with their hands will be glowing and will show how quickly germs can spread.
  4. As an exercise to teach proper hand washing, students can rub some Glo Germ™ on their hands. Have students try to wash the Glo Germ™ off their hands checking with the black light to make sure they got it all. After washing their hands, any remaining germs, especially under fingernails, will be visible under the ultraviolet light. Repeat as many times as necessary and explain that germs can be difficult to wash off too, so they should wash well every time.
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
Lessons Associated with this Resource