Sunday, May 6, 2012

Does Money Grow on Trees? (Experiments with Paper and Cloth)

We did a fun spur-of-the-moment investigation.  Ask most people, and they will probably automatically tell you that money is made of paper.  But we discovered why it's a good thing that it's not!
Supplies to gather:
*deep plate
*bowl of water
*big spoons and eyedroppers
*toilet paper
*scratch paper (white computer paper with something printed on it)
*construction paper
*glossy paper (pizza advertisement)

One object at a time, we got them wet and then discussed how the water effected them.

Some discussion questions: 
*How easy is it to tear now? 
*Which one was easier to tear?
*Is the ink running?
*What happens if you crumple it and then try to straighten it out?

The second to last thing we tested was the washcloth.  We talked about the difference between what the others were made of (paper, trees) and what the washcloth was made of (cloth, cotton.)  The washcloth definitely reacted differently than all the papers!

Finally, we studied the "paper" money.  When the dollar got wet, it's ink didn't run, it didn't rip any easier than when dry, and it could be crumpled up without harm.

Conclusion:  the money must be made of cloth!  And it's a good thing, too because if your money was ruined every time you left it in your pocket and put it in the wash, that would be pretty sad!

We busted out the magnifying glass and were able to even see evidence of the cotton (blue and red threads.)  As a bonus, the girls recognized the Great Seal on the one dollar bill.  Yay, connections!

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