How to Determine Moisture Retention in Towels

Even paper towels can be made into a science experiment.

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Getting kids interested not only in science but scientific methodology can be quite a chore for a teacher. One of the best ways is to find interesting and amusing experiments you can do, such as testing product claims. For example, many paper towel companies make extravagant claims for the water-absorbing abilities of their products. An engaging experiment for students would be to test these claims for themselves. You should demonstrate for the kids how to do the experiment before they conduct it.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedSeveral rolls of the main brands of paper towelsMeasuring cupsScalesRulerScissorsTongsPaperPencilsSuggest Edits1

Use the scissors to cut a 4-inch square out of a sheet of one of the brands.


Weigh this square to determine its dry weight. Write this down.


Fill a measuring cup with half a cup of water. Then use the tongs to place the square in the water, fully immersing it.


After five seconds, remove the square, place it on the scale and weigh it again. Write this number down and subtract the dry weight from it. This tells you the weight of the water that was absorbed.


Repeat this process with the other brands. Compare and discuss the results.

ReferencesExperiment Resources: Paper Towel ExperimentPhoto Credit Hemera Technologies/ ImagesRead Next:

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