Paper Towel Absorbency Experiment

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I believe that Walmart brand paper towels are just as absorbent as Bounty brand paper towels. All paper towels are made from paper pulp that is woven to create a large sheet. Because all paper towels are made from the same material I believe that the Walmart brand will absorb just as much liquid as the other brands. I will prove my hypothesis through a scientific experiment comparing three brands of paper towels. I chose three brands with three very different price points. Am I paying more money per roll for a higher quality towel or are all paper towels made the same, therefore will absorb equal amounts of liquid. I will put each paper towel brand through an absorbency test 4 times to get an average amount of liquid absorbed. I am interested in this experiment because we are a family on a budget and if the Walmart brand paper towel is just as absorbent as the more expensive Bounty brand that will save us money on our grocery budget. I researched 2 other paper towel absorbency experiments. An experiment by Samantha P.(www.selah.k12.wa.us, 2001) hypothesized that Bounty would be the most absorbent brand, while ZHukant(“essay-collection.blogspot.com”, 2006) hypothesized that Job Squad would be the most absorbent brand in that experiment. Both experiments had a well-defined experimental plan. I was able to replicate both after conducting my own experiments. Samanthat P. and I did multiple trials with each brand of towel. ZHukant only conducted one trial per brand. ZHukant and I both cut our paper towels down to the same size so that the experiment was as controlled as possible. Samantha P’s hypothesis was found false in all four trials. She found that Sparkle brand was the most absorbent. ZHukant’s hypothesis was proven true; Job Squad was the most absorbent brand. My experimental procedure will be conducted in the following steps. 1. Gather all items needed for experiment. At least 3 different brands of paper towels, 2 liquid measuring cups, water, a stopwatch, paper and pen, scissors, and a ruler. 2. Measure a sheet from each brand to ensure the size is the same. If the towels are different sizes trim them to the smallest size. 3. Fill a liquid measuring cup with 100mils of water.

4. Submerge the first brand of paper towel into water and start the stopwatch. At 20 seconds remove the paper towel from the water and squeeze the paper towel into the second liquid measuring cup. 5. Record how much water was squeezed from the paper towel. 6. Repeat with each brand of towel and record the data. Repeat each set of trials at least four times for consistency of data. 7. Find the average amount of liquid absorbed by each brand of towel and plot in a bar graph. My experimental design is set up in such a way that anyone can replicate this experiment with the same brands of towels and get the same results. My plan keeps the trials as fair as possible by cutting the towels down to the same size so only the thickness of each towel comes into play. It is important to conduct multiple trials to insure the data is consistent. The Dependent variable for this study is the amount of water absorbed by the paper towels. This will be measured in milliliters. The independent variable for this study is different brands of paper towels. The controlled variables will be the amount of water the paper towels are given to absorb, the size of the paper towels at the beginning of the experiment, and using the same measuring instruments in each trial. I will reduce the threat to internal validity by conducting the experiments in the same day so that weather isn’t a factor. Some climates have shifts in humidity that could affect the absorbency of the paper towels from the moisture already in the air. Also cutting the towels to the same size will keep the findings as accurate as possible. | Bounty| Viva | Walmart brand|

Experiment 1| 50| 43| 22|
Experiment2| 48| 37| 19|
Experiment 3| 55| 52| 20|
Experiment4|...
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