FSU students coach second-graders in hand washing

Ferris State University nuclear medicine technology students partnered with Brookside Elementary School to teach second-graders basic hand-washing skills during an academic service learning project. During the project, FSU students, like Mitchell Xiong (right), put “glow germs” on second-graders’ hands, like those of Madie Chapman (left). (Pioneer photos/Meghan Gunther-Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — The season of stuffed or sniffling noses and continuous coughs will soon begin in schools around the area.

One way youths can help cut down on the spread of germs is thoroughly washing their hands, a lesson Brookside Elementary School second-graders brushed up on during class as students from Ferris State University’s nuclear medicine technology program presented the hand washing project on Monday.

After receiving glow germs, Blake Shibley checks how dirty his hands are under a black light before putting Monday’s hand washing-lessons to the test.

“This was an academic service learning project to provide a service to the community,” said Tracy Glentz, FSU nuclear medical instructor. “With this, the nuclear medicine technology students are able to promote healthy environments and get the benefit of interacting with potential pediatric patient populations.”

FSU students spent the morning pulling their younger peers from the classrooms of second-grade teachers, Karen King, Justine Upham and Christina Jacobs, and placing “glow germs,” glow-in-the-dark powder, on Brookside students’ hands, which they then held under a black light. To get rid of the germs, second-graders were coached in basic hand-washing skills by their FSU visitors, and could double-check if all of the germs had been properly washed away by looking under the black light a second or third time.

“This lesson is important every year but right now, the second-graders’ personal goal is to be proactive and take care of themselves,” King said.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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