Paper Towel Testing
Written by Cary I. Sneider and Jacqueline
If we can't evade the flurry of advertising claims children
are exposed to every day, can we help them decipher the hype
and decide for themselves? Absolutely!
The activities in this unit use four
brands of paper towel to get students started down the
road of consumer awareness. As they test, assess, and rank the
wet strength and absorbency of these brands,
they learn and use math and science concepts to appraise
a real consumer item. Based on their findings
and the cost of each brand, students determine which is the
These activities provide a stimulating introduction to consumer
science and the concept of controlled experimentation. Students
can go on to devise their own experiments, advertisements for
paper towels based on their test results, or tests for other
consumer items. This can even become a regular class
event, bringing developing math, science, and consumer skills
to bear on a variety of products.
Time: Four 30- to 45-minute sessions plus follow-up sessions.
Comment on this GEMS unit.
Spanish Language Student Materials
What materials are needed to present this unit? See the full list.