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Join Some Stuart School Eagles in a fun and
interesting internet project!
What's the Best Picker Upper for the
How Can I Get My Elementary School Students to
Learn About Absorption and Consumer Economics and Have Fun
in the Process?
Site Contents & Links
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The goals of the project are to develop math and science skills
and consumer awareness among elementary school students by
predicting, experimenting, observing, measuring, comparing, graphing
and analyzing data.
This project is designed to develop math and science skills
science. Students follow steps used in scientific inquiry. Math
measurement and graphing skills are used in gathering and recording
Developed for children in grades two to six, though older
students may participate.
Summary of Project
- predict which paper towels are most absorbent
and which will be the "best buy" (tell why)
- set up and carry out absorbency experiment,
- measure the amount of water absorbed by same
sized sheets of paper towels
- record and graph data
- analyze results
- submit data via e-mail
- compare local results with those of others in
Interested in joining?
Send e-mail to
Include the following information in the body of your
- local project leader(s) name,
- school name and location,
- grade level and number of students
Project Time Line
March 30 to April 24: Registration by e-mail
April 1 to May 1: Project registrations confirmed by e-mail
May 5,1998: Project results due.
May 8, 1998: Project results posted
If you are reading this now, you
are too late to join our original project, but you can still use this
activity, and I would still be happy to hear from you.
Specifics of Project
One roll each of Bounty Quilted, Kleenex Viva, and any other
brand paper towel
Three plastic cups for each group collecting data
Measuring cups calibrated in milliliters
Containers of water with red, blue and green food coloring
- Gather materials, follow project procedures on
your own to help you anticipate challenges faced by your
- Introduce project to children by talking about
buying paper towels: How do we use paper towels? what makes one
towel better than another? How could we decide which paper towel
- Bring project to attention of students and
develop unit plans to address needs of project and your students.
(Are your children familiar with milliliters, cups, absorbency,
centimeters, doing liquid and linear measurement, and
- Make your own decisions about having small
groups or whole class do experiments.
- Print or copy data collection sheets found
- Use marker to put brand names on each sheet of
- Give each group a copy of data
collection sheet number 1 (DCS1) and
one sheet of each brand of paper towel.
- First, students examine and rate each brand of
towel on DCS1.
- Second, students predict which towel will
absorb the most, second most and least amount of water and write
this down on DCS1.
- Next, students write price and square meters
of toweling per roll in spaces provided on DCS1 and follow math
steps described on DCS1 to find out how many 25 sq.... cm. sheets
are on each roll and how much each sheet costs.
- Set up project materials in area for
experiments to be conducted.
- Label, measure and cut each brand of sheet
into 25 cm by 25 cm squares.
- Prepare colored water for each cup: Use red
for the Viva cup, blue for the Bounty cup and green for the other
- Pour exactly 100 milliliters of colored water
into each of three cups.
- Place tape on cup where water level stops and
write name of towel on each cup.(Tape marker helps show that water
level does drop once water is absorbed in towels and
- Submerge each towel in corresponding cup for 5
minutes. Remove by lifting from beneath the towel with a fork or
stick, let excess water drip off for 10 seconds
- Lay towels aside, measure the amount of water
left in milliliters in each cup, subtract that number from 100 to
find out how much was absorbed and write down results on
- Fill out the rest of DCS 2.
- Graphs could be made to compare cost per sheet
for each brand, or to compare absorbency per sheet. You may wish
to have students prepare such graphs and decide if they would be
useful in making buying decisions. Groups should at least make a
bar graph that compares cost per milliliter absorbed per sheet. of
each towel. (Use data from DCS 2, question 2 to make this
- Use your data
collection report form to submit
results of your work by e-mail to:
Take me to... Data
Collection Sheet #1
Data Collection Sheet
Final Data Report
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School Home Page.