Knitters required to create some rather unusual models

Knitters required to create some rather unusual models

Knitters across the UK have been tasked with creating something a little unusual in time for a special event this spring - woolly bacteria.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) are planning on attempting a world record for the largest hand hygiene lesson ever seen on March 19th.

To do so, a team of nursing students will visit as many of the city's primary schools as possible to give a 40-minute hand washing lesson to the youngsters in attendance.

However, in order to make the education interesting, the students need props to engage the children's attention - and they want them to be knitted in colourful yarn.

The idea is that by taking knitted versions of the bacteria that could be lurking on our hands if we don't wash them into schools, the little ones will recognise the issue, remember the message and be encouraged to lather up regularly.

In order to ensure there are enough knitted bugs to go round, crafters have been tasked with making a whopping 980 - which is where you come in.

You can download patterns for seven simple bacteria - friendly bacteria, tuberculosis, penicillin, common cold, swine flu, cholera and salmonella - via the Glasgow City of Science website. Once they are finished, they can either be dropped off at GCU or the Glasgow Science Centre.

People not in the vicinity of the city can still join in - they just need to post their creations to the address on the website in time for the end of February.

Speaking to the Glasgow Evening Times, GCU professor Tracey Howe said: "Hand hygiene is a major public health issue and a major cause of illness in the workplace and at school, so we wanted to show pupils the science behind hand hygiene."

Lessons like this might be more important than you think. A recent poll by Initial Hygiene found that one in five people don't wash their hands after using the toilet, while ten per cent only splash their fingers with water rather than washing them properly.

 

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