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franklin county times

RMS students learn through Germ City presentation

RMS students check to see how successful they are at hand-washing, using a combination of glow-in-the-dark lotion and a blacklight.
RMS students check to see how successful they are at hand-washing, using a combination of glow-in-the-dark lotion and a blacklight.

Most people can probably remember, as young children, their mothers saying something to the effect of, “Don’t touch that! You don’t know where it’s been!” Mothers are consummately concerned about germs – and not without good reason. Students at Russellville Middle School got their own insight into the germ world recently through a special guest presentation.

Guest speaker Apriell Burgess, Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, led Rachel Agee’s RMS Students in Teen Discoveries and Teen Connections classes through her Germ City presentation.

“Ms. Apriell did a wonderful job,” Agee said. “She sets the tent up the day before with black lights, and it’s called Germ City. The focus is on proper hand-washing techniques, which are important to protect from germs but extra important for our classroom because students prepare food that is shared with students in their group. We need students to value good hygiene and proper handwashing techniques, especially in our classroom.”

Germ City is an interactive and scientific-based exhibit that increases the awareness of the consequences of poor hand washing.

How does it work? While a catchy tune is playing, children are asked to cover their hands with a non-toxic lotion that glows under black lights. After one trip through “Germ City,” a long black tunnel filled with glow-in-the-dark streamers and objects, kids are then asked to wash their hands to see if there is a trace of the germs they might have missed.

Agee shared this bit of knowledge from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Handwashing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection,” – a bold claim, but one students were able to learn about in a memorable, hands-on way.

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