Well, kinda... making them glow is just being a bit fancy. And you need a light at a particular wavelength to get them to glow. I assume they inserted Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP).
The traditional "Hello World" that I learned was to insert a functioning lacZ plasmid into a mutant E. coli strain that had their lacZ gene damaged. When you do this, you introduce a functioning lacZ gene into the E. coli, which will cause the colony to turn blue in the presence of X-gal. It is a nice and cheap way to do screens... but it isn't nearly as cool as glowing super-bugs.
Depending on what hazmat disposal they have, they'd be better off using something like SYBR Safe, especially with beginners. It's almost as good as EtBr for staining, but not toxic. (Downside: it's much more expensive, EtBr is cheap as hell)
That what lab assistant usually says. At uni we used some blue florescent dye that apparently got ionically bonded to P group of DNA backbone. It was completely safe(not carcinogenic). I can't remember the name of the dye, but results with EtBr were much clearer.
If my memory doesn't lie to me, I think its a load dye, which only dyes the DNA sample to visually assist during the loading of the samples into the "wells" of the gel. Otherwise you can't be sure whether you put it inside the well or somewhere into the surrounding buffer.