Sanitizer and Soap Bacteria Lab - A Scientific Method Inquiry Investigation

Rated 4.84 out of 5, based on 33 reviews
33 Ratings
It's Not Rocket Science
Grade Levels
8th - 10th
Formats Included
  • Zip
12 pages
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It's Not Rocket Science

What educators are saying

My students loved this lab! It was a great way to teach the way to write a lab report with a low risk and engaging lab!
Worked perfect to practice scientific method and aligns perfectly with why we need to wash our hands during a pandemic.


In this guided inquiry investigation, students will use knowledge of the experimental design process to come up with an experiment, as a class, for investigating the effectiveness of different soaps and sanitizers on the amount of bacteria on their hands. Students will design the procedures and then wash their hands using different products. They will plate bacteria from their hands onto petri dishes with agar and wait a few days for the bacteria colonies to be big enough to count with the naked eye. Class data will be collected and used to calculate average bacteria growth, create a graph, and write up an analysis and conclusion. This lab is a great opportunity to have your students write a formal lab report, if that is a skill you wish to practice with them. Student lab handouts, formal lab report writing rubric, and a sample class data table are all included in the zip file.

*NOTE* Do not purchase if you have already purchased my Biology Basics Unit Bundle or my Biology Complete Curriculum Bundle because you already have this product!

How can I use this?

  • Real world application of experimental set-up
  • Reviewing the scientific method
  • Introducing students to an inquiry-based investigation
  • Teaching the basics of lab report writing

Why should I use this product in my classroom?

This lab is simple, making it a great first experience for students with inquiry investigations. It is relatable to their everyday lives, making it engaging and interesting for students. Lastly, it provides students practice with standard lab equipment, lab safety, experimental design, and lab write-up skills, so it is really effective for use at the beginning of the school year.

What is included?

      • 3 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)

      • 6 pages of student handouts (PDF)

      • 2 page lab report writing checklist and grading rubric (PDF)

      • Sample data table (Excel)

How much class time will this take?

This activity tends to take 1-1.5 hours, spread out over 2-3 class periods.

What if I want more related to this?

This product is part of my Biology Basics Unit, which is the first unit in my Biology Curriculum Full Year Bundle.

What if I have a question?

Email me at I’d love to answer any questions you have!

How do I stay updated on new products, sales, blogposts, and freebies?

Follow me on TpT, join my email list, or follow me on Instagram. These are the three best ways to keep up with what’s happening at It’s Not Rocket Science!


You may:

  • Use this item for your own classroom, students, or for your own personal use.
  • Buy additional licenses for others to use this product at a discount by visiting your TpT “My Purchases” page.
  • Review this product to recommend others buy it in blog posts, at professional development workshops, or other venues as long as credit is given to my store with a direct link to my store/product.

You may not:

  • Upload this product to any unsecured website or server that other teachers can access for free.
  • Give this product to others without the purchase of an additional license for them (this includes emailing, printing copies, or sharing through a website, cloud or other network.)
  • Copy or modify any part of this document to offer others for free or for sale.
Total Pages
12 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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