An experiment is carried out by a microbiologist to find out what germs or microbes can be found on the surface of a hand. Trish has not washed her hands all day. She visits a hospital laboratory and a microbiologist to find out just how many germs or microbes there are on her hands. Microbes are small forms of life which are too small to see with the naked eye, but they can be seen under a microscope. There are a whole range of different types of microbes. One of these types is bacteria. There are different types of bacteria, and examples which have been magnified a thousand times are shown. Even clean hands carry millions of microbes and not all of these are harmful. However, you should always wash your hands before eating.

This clip is from:
Science Clips, Micro Organisms
First broadcast:
11 October 2007

The clip could be used to help children consider if all microorganisms are harmful, and begin to identify areas in which we use microorganisms for our own benefit. Alternatively children could be challenged to create their own microbe, thinking of the physical features it has, and illness it may cause as a result. Investigations into how germs are spread could be carried out simply by using UV torches and a UV gel. One child could have the gel on their hands and then all children could shake hands randomly and then using the UV torches, the 'germ' spread could be seen clearly.