Food Science's Buescher Spreads Germ Education at Har-Ber High School

An ultraviolet light and Glo Germ powder was used to illustrate how quickly germs can be spread during a food science outreach experiment at Har-Ber High School.
Photo by Rosa Buescher

An ultraviolet light and Glo Germ powder was used to illustrate how quickly germs can be spread during a food science outreach experiment at Har-Ber High School.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rosa Buescher from the U of A's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences recently hit the road to spread, not germs, but germ education to high school students.

Buescher is the student relations coordinator for the college's Department of Food Science, and was invited to Har-Ber High School recently to talk about food safety, food science careers and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.

Buecher, a bachelor's and master's degree graduate of the food science program, spoke in three of Kelley Keith's AP biology classes, and gave demonstrations on how quickly germs can spread throughout a room in 30 minutes. She also emphasized the importance of hand washing to eliminate germs, and prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Glo Germ powder was used, which glows under ultra violet light. In a "Germs That You Can See" experiement, the powder was applied to a high school student, who was sent around the room to help with a variety of tasks, including shaking hands, high-fiving, passing out papers and getting signatures. Thirty minutes later, the ultra violent light revealed the spread, which went from hands to faces, drinks, phones and more.

"The goal is to teach proper hand washing, aseptic techniques and general infection control," said Buescher, a former successful restaurant owner in the area. "In the food industry, we teach our employees the critical nature of these simple techniques to prevent food contamination. In school, we should teach the students the same. This could lessen the flu, strep and stomach viruses that spread every winter."

Keith has taught biology for eight years and before that was a microbiologist at Tyson Foods Inc. for 10 years. Buescher also worked at Tyson, in Food Safety and Laboratory Services.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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