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School Shout Out: Viral illness poster going viral online

Alex Kovach runs the Design and Innovation Center at Newark High School. In November he had the idea of making a poster to stop the kids from spreading germs. He noticed students doing the dab dance move a lot around school, which is when "the dancer simultaneously drops the head while raising an arm and the elbow in a gesture that has been noted to resemble sneezing." Mr. Kovach would occasionally do the dab in the classroom when he would sneeze or cough. The students told him to stop and that he shouldn't do that, so he continued because he thought it was funny. Mr. Kovach would even do the dab in the lunch room with the other teachers and they told him to stop as well because that is what students do, not teachers.

Obviously it caught some attention and he wanted to make a poster to stop the spread of illness, so he came up with an acronym: Destroy All Bacteria. He asked Principal Mr. Bowman to do the dance move and he snapped a photo. Mr. Kovach posted the poster in the hallway and an unknown student snapped a photo of the poster and shared it online. The picture went viral and was shared all around the world. Rapper 50 Cent shared the poster with his 37 million followers. Several publications around the world wrote articles about the creativity and using relevant social happenings to stop the spread of germs. Even the California Department of Health called and asked if they could use the idea.

Mr. Bowman said he is hesitant to doing things like this because he has two daughters at the high school. He said that he will come home and his daughters will tell him that he is too old to do things like this. He also said that students will see him in the hallway and lunch room and try to get him to dab. He will mostly tell them that the dab is for the students' generation, but will occasionally play along and do the dance move for them.

Mr. Kovach said the whole idea was to stop the spread of germs and to raise awareness of the Design and Innovation Center. It is a place where students can come up with ideas and create them using unique equipment like laser cutters and 3D printers. He didn't expect the poster to go as viral as it did, but he now has the poster hanging in the work space and a new poster was just put up ahead of exams. The new poster reads: "Rain drop, drop top, study for your exams non-stop."

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