Hooked on Science: Top five places to get the flu

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Using a few materials from around the house and the store you can do an experiment that will show you the top five places to get the flu.

Materials

* Agar

* Petri dishes

* Q-tips

Instructions

STEP 1: Prepare petri dishes and refrigerate until used. Remember, store petri dishes upside down.

STEP 2: Remove petri dishes from refrigerator. Allow petri dishes to come to room temperature before collecting germs.

STEP 3: Using a Q-tip, collect germs from keyboards, remotes, hands, etc. Lift the lid and gently spread the germs onto the agar without tearing the agar.

STEP 4: Close the lid and allow the germs to grow in an undisturbed warm location for about a week.

Explanation

The agar and warm temperatures provide an ideal environment for the germs to grow. You can observe the growth of the germ colonies through the top of the Petri dish. Each will appear differently depending on the germ.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments.

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