A pre-K teacher from Florida amazed her students with a brilliant demonstration that showed just why washing hands with soap is so important in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Amanda Lorenzo, 23, wanted to explain germs and hygiene to her little students in a way they could understand.
So last week, the Miami educator filled a dish with water and pepper and filmed a little experiment for Instagram, capturing the kids’ awed reactions as the real power of soap is shown right before their eyes.
Genius! Amanda Lorenzo, 23, wanted to explain germs and hygiene to her little students in a way they could understand
‘Learning about the importance of washing our hands!’ she wrote.
The video shows just a disposable plate filled with water and pepper. The pepper, she has explained to the class, is a ‘virus.’
Lorenzo asks a student named Issa to dip her finger in the ‘virus water’ while the other kids watch on.
‘Did the virus move? Did any of the pepper flakes move?’ she asks — and several voices ring out, confirming that no, nothing moved.
She then tells the little girl to take out her finger and see if there’s any pepper on it, and she finds that there is.
Science experiment: The pre-K teacher from Florida amazed her students with a brilliant demonstration that showed just why washing hands with soap is so important
Seeing is believing: She had a little girl dip her finger in ‘virus water’ made with pepper — and then show how the pepper stuck to her finger
‘Now we don’t want the virus on our finger, right you guys?’ Lorenzo says to them.
Next, she asks Issa to dop her finger in a dish of soap nearby, then put that same soapy finger back in the peppery water.
When she does, the pepper moves away, shooting to the sides of the plate and the bottom and away from her soapy finger.
The whole class seems in awe, with little Issa asking, ‘How did it move?’
Pepper naturally sits on top of water because water molecules like to stick together, creating surface tension. Soap breaks up surface tension, so when it’s dropped into the water, the water molecules move away from it, bringing the pepper with them.
The antidote! The student them dips her hand into a bowl with soap
Like magic! When she puts her soapy finger back in, the soap breaks up the surface tension — and the pepper falls to the bottom and moves away
Smart! Lorenzo found the experiment on TikTok and thought it would be fun to share with her class
Lorenzo found the experiment on TikTok and thought it would be fun to share with her class.
‘I wish you all could’ve seen how truly shocked they were that the “virus,” (pepper) moves away from the soap! So much fun and very informative!’ she wrote on Instagram, where the clip has been viewed nearly half a million times.
‘I was really just doing this to show the importance of washing your hands, whether this happens with the coronavirus,’ she told Today.
‘The rest of the day — after everything obviously, after going to the bathroom, after we came back from lunch, before going to lunch, after going to the playground — they were like, “We need to wash our hands! ” It was a constant thing for the rest of the day.
Smart! Shauna Woods, who teaches at Hallsville Schools in Hallsville, Missouri, has been stamping her third graders to encourage them to wash their hands
Lorenzo is one of many educators doing their best to teach children to wash their hands frequently.
Over a thousand miles away, a third grade teacher from Missouri came up with her own ingenious way to encourage the kids in her class to wash their hands.
Shauna Woods, 29, who teaches at Hallsville Schools in Hallsville, Missouri, has a custom stamp that reads ‘Mrs. Woods,’ which she usually uses to put her name on the books in her classroom.
But earlier this month, she started stamping the backs of each of her kids’ hands — and if they’ve washed their hands enough to make clean it off by the end of the day, they get a prize.
Mrs. Woods shared the clever idea on Facebook on March 2, posting pictures of the stamp in action.
‘We are doing our best in room 550 to keep the germs away,’ she wrote. ‘Students got stamps on their hands this morning. If it’s gone by the end of the day from washing their hands, they get a prize. We are trying.’
She told Good Morning America that there is always a ‘spike in illness’ this time of year.
‘It’s a fact of life that many kids are in close corners, interacting with one another all day. They share many things, including germs,’ she said.
There is a sink in the classroom, as well as k, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes — but these days, things are more serious. So Mrs. Woods, who has been teaching for eight years, employed a new technique to ensure kids are washing their hands throughout the day.
Encouragement: If the kids wash their hands enough by the end of the day that the stamp disappears, they get a prize
Viral: Her post has also received widespread attention online, earning 51,000 likes and tons of supportive comments.
‘I’ve had a ‘Mrs. Woods’ stamp for years and have used it to stamp my classroom books,’ she said.
‘I decided to grab that on a Monday morning, told students to wash their hands in the classroom sink and then come see their teacher — this was their morning work as we call it. I put the stamp on their hands and they were sold when I told them prizes were involved.’
The first day was just a test run, since the kids were so eager to win prizes that they worked to scrub their hands clean right away. But since then, it’s become a routine for them to wash repeatedly throughout the day.
‘Providing a visual reminder and incentive has boosted their hygiene regimen. I even joined in on the fun and put a stamp on my hand to be their positive role model,’ she said.
‘Providing a visual reminder and incentive has boosted their hygiene regimen. I even joined in on the fun and put a stamp on my hand to be their positive role model,’ Mrs. Woods said
Her post has also received widespread attention online, earning 51,000 likes and tons of supportive comments.
‘What a good idea! It’s not easy to get a class full of young kids to wash their hands all day long, so any incentive is a positive!’ wrote one woman.
‘I think this is a wonderful idea to reinforce and remind kids to wash. It will become habit. Bribe or not. It’s a great idea. Great job!’ said another.
‘Great idea. Always going to have some germs in this world. But teaching kids hand washing early will instill in them the importance of it so when something way more harmful comes along, they will remember,’ said a third.