this Daily Classroom Special:
Science to Go provides easy yet meaningful
science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written
by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston
(TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.
Fibers and Dyes
Compare and contrast, lab safety, following lab procedures.
Dye fabric samples using a commercial dye and a homemade dye.
Cut or tear 3x7 cm cotton fabric swatches (I use two per student).
Prepare one batch of yellow commercial dye following directions
on package, and dye one half of the swatches. Boil a handful of
red onion skins in a quart of water for 10 minutes, add the remaining
swatches, and boil for five more minutes. Remove all samples, rinse,
and allow to dry. Compare and contrast the samples for hue desirability,
color intensity, and cost. Wash the samples and compare colorfastness.
Research dyes, mordents, and the history of commercially available
Which is more ecologically sound? Experiment with other homemade
Materials: cotton fabric (an old towel, sheet or shirt), one pkg.
yellow commercial dye, salt (may be required for commercial dye),
pot, water, hot plate, red onion skins (free - the grocer lets me
clean out the onion bin!), ruler, scissors.
**Safety consideration - Closely supervise students around
hot plate and boiling water. If using an extension cord, tape it
to the floor.
Web site Picks for Science
National Park Service Home Page - Natural and cultural features of our national parks, maps, information.
Has a section for teachers and students under "Park Smart."