Sunday, November 13, 2011

Science Sunday: North Carolina: tar and water proofing

Science Sunday

North Carolina is nicknamed the “Tar Heel state,” I read a couple of reasons for this but it all boiled down to there is a lot of tar there.  Tar was originally used for water-proofing boats.  I don’t have any boats to try water-proofing with, but I have paper.

North Carolina Tar Heel State


First, I smeared the various things that have been used for water-proofing onto the papers and let that soak in for a while (I gave it about 30 minutes).




Then each of the kids got to take turns putting water with an eye dropper onto the various pieces of paper.


As you can see it was very exciting results.  I was even surprised by some of them.


I wasn’t too surprised the butter and oil repelled water, those I expected because they were used in the colonial time periods to make cheap semi-translucent window coverings that were somewhat waterproof.  The paint also didn’t surprise me because we used paint to seal wood against water for our houses.  The rubber glue and the Elmer’s glue did surprise me.  Elmer’s because it is water-soluble, and the rubber cement because I only put on a very thin layer.


Of course the plain old paper immediately soaked up the water.  I want to repeat the experiment and keep checking back to see if it has soaked in, that was my original plan, but some of the papers were thrown away right away.


How about you guys?  Anything fun this week?  Any surprising new discoveries?

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