You may know him from his glitter bomb for porch pirates videos, by BYU graduate Mark Rober is at it again, this time taking on the coronavirus.
Rober used powder called Glow Germ in a third-grade classroom. The powder is invisible, but shows under a flourescent blacklight.
For his experiment, Rober ensured the classroom was clean before the day started and that no areas were lighting up with the blacklight. The classroom teacher then put the powder on her hands and shook hands with only three students coming into the class.
The students went about their day, with the powder transferring to every surface the students touched. Part-way through the day Rober also put powder on one additional student’s hands.
“Cleaning commonly touched surfaces is important because even if a virus is spread through airborne transmission, those tiny droplets don’t stay in the air for long,” Rober said in the video. “They land on surfaces waiting to be touched by our hands.”
He also encouraged people to not touch their face and showed how much of the powder transfers to our eyes, nose and mouth, which are like the single weak spot on the Death Star in “Star Wars” when it comes to viruses.
Rober continued testing the spread of the Glow Germ with different activities like touching your face, shaking hands and how much comes off when washing hands.
“As I’m sure you’ve heard a bunch by now, our goal is to flatten the curve so the reported cases stay just under the capacity of the health care system, and social distancing is the best knob that we can turn to affect that,” Rober said.
“The reason this helps should hopefully make more sense after watching this video, especially for those who have been doubting the science and feeling like this is an extreme reaction,” he said in the video.
Rober became famous on YouTube for his feats of engineering — like making a pool of Jell-O, or creating a glitter bomb for porch pirates.
He graduated from BYU with a degree in mechanical engineering and obtained a master’s degree from USC. He also worked on the Curiosity rover for NASA, which is now being used on Mars.