Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Bacteria Agar
Name: Amy
Status: Other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: October 2002

I want to conduct a hand washing experiment in which I vary scrub time, soap amt, & temp of H20. What type of nutrient agar plate should I use? I don't know which type to order...there are so many. Also, what conditions do the agar plates need to be in pre and during the experiment? thanks, Amy

Plain nutrient agar should be fine. You will want to have the agar in a liquid state (molten, temp. 45-50 degrees C-any cooler and it will solidify). The agar can be melted by boiling, and then held in a water bath at 45 degrees until use. Then pour it into a sterile plastic petri dish and put your fingertips into the molten agar. Let the agar solidify and then incubate it upside down in an incubator at 37 degrees C for 24 hrs. or at room temperature for 48 hrs.

Good luck


Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory