A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


Adhesives are used to stick things together. Many adhesives we use every day are made in factories. Others occur in nature and have important uses for plants and animals.

What you'll need

Baking flour
Measuring cup
Egg white
Food coloring
4 small bowls
4 plastic spoons
Aluminum foil
Cotton balls
Bits of cloth
Blunt-tip scissors
Colored yarn or ribbon
Colored paper
Your science journal

What to do

  1. Search your home to track down everything you can that is sticky.
    See how many of the following you can find:

    Grown-up alert!

    Postage stamps
    Car bumper sticker
    Envelopes containing glue
    Wall paper with glue
    A decal on a t-shirt
    A bicycle tire patch
    Glue for fake fingernails
    Peanut butter
    An adhesive bandage

  2. Make a list of everything you can find in nature with an adhesive.
    For example:

    Barnacles that stick to boats, ships, and rocks
    Spiders that use sticky threads to create webs that trap their food Pine trees that produce sticky sap

  3. What adhesives can you think of that are used

    in hospitals?
    in offices?
    in auto repair shops?

  4. Make a poster or collage using adhesives.

    Make 3 bowls of flour-and-water paste. In each bowl, add 1/4 cup water to 1/2 cup flour and mix until smooth. Add a different colored food coloring to each of the 3 bowls and mix.

    Crack open an egg and separate the white into a bowl. Throw away the yolk. The white is your clear glue.

    Make shapes on your poster or collage out of the colored flour and water paste. Use the egg white to attach aluminum foil, cotton balls, toothpicks, cloth, glitter, ribbon, yarn, and colored paper.

What makes glue, paste, or tape stick to things? Wood, paper, and many other materials have tiny cracks and holes in them. When we glue things together, sometimes the glue seeps into the tiny openings and hardens, making the materials stick together. Other times, the molecules on the surface of an object get tangled up with the glue molecules, making the objects stick together. Finally, glue may stick because of a chemical reaction.

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