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Science projects on paper towels

If you are looking for entertaining, child-friendly experiments to do at home or in the classroom, use paper towels as your experiment subject.

Paper towels are household items that, if you don't already have in your cupboard, are economical to purchase. Science projects involving paper towels are safe and easy for kids to perform.

Testing paper towel strength and absorbency makes easy, fun and informative projects for school children and a fun activity for children at home.

Purchase three to four different brands and then get home and start your various tests to find the strongest paper towel and the most absorbent paper towel.

    You will need:

    1. Three or four different brands of paper towels.
    2. Two helpers
    3. Objects of varying weights i.e. apple, school shoe, book, bag of sugar, a brick
    4. Pen and paper for recording results

    Method:

    • Tear off a sheet of each paper towel (be sure they are all whole pieces with no tears).
    • Set out objects of varying weights, then have the helpers, holding the paper towel flat, hold the paper towel in the air, each holding two corners of the towel.
    • Set the object in the middle. Predetermine a length of time the object must stay on the paper towel before it counts as "strong enough to hold a..." Write down your observations for each brand, depending on how they preformed.

    Conclusion:

  • This allows you to test the paper towel's strength when dry.
  • The paper towel that holds the heaviest objects is the strongest towel.

    Since paper towels usually get wet while cleaning, it is also useful to test wet paper towel strength and see if water makes the paper towels either stronger or weaker. This science project tests several brands of paper towels for wet strength.

    You will need:

    1. Three or four different brands of paper towels
    2. Two helpers
    3. A bowl of water
    4. A stack of a single type of coins
    5. Pen and paper (for recording the results)

    Method:

    • Take a new sheet of paper towel off each of the brands that you are testing. Soak them in water.
    • Have two people hold each side of the piece over a sink or container. Carefully place coins, one by one, onto the paper towel. Record the number of coins the towel hold until it tears. Repeat this process for each brand of paper towel.

Conclusion:

  • The paper towel that rips or tears first has the lowest strength.

In this science experiment, children get to discover which paper towel brand is the most absorbent.

You will need:

  • Three or four different brands of paper towels
  • Water
  • Individual (equal sized) bowls
  • Tongs
  • Pen and paper (for recording the results)

Method:

  • Begin by taking a sheet of paper towel from each brand (make sure all the towel sizes are equal). Lining up paper towel sheets on a table and give them each alpha-labels, such as A, B and C.
  • Get the children to touch each of the paper towels individually and guess (or hypothesis) about which paper towel will be the most absorbent.
  • Pour 200 ml water into individual bowls. Completely soak one paper towel sheet from each of the paper towel brands into each individual bowl (ensure they are all left to soak for the same amount of time).
  • Remove the paper towel with the tongs from the bowl and discard.
  • Measure the amount of water left in each bowl.

Conclusion:

  • The towel that absorbs the most water (measured by the least amount of water left in the bowl) is the most absorbent.