How to Do a Science Fair Project on Paper Towels

Science fair projects require a hypothesis, some amount of experimentation, and a final report and presentation that explain your findings. It is important to start planning your project early, as you will need time to complete each step of the project, and you cannot usually do this the night before the due date. If you want to do a science fair project about paper towels, one that centers on testing their strength when wet is a relatively easy way to go.

    Create a chart for measuring the results of your experiment. This chart should have a row for each paper towel brand, with a column for brand name, number of coins, and rank.

    Pull a sheet off each paper towel roll. Cut all of the sheets down to the same size.

    Hold the first paper towel over the bowl of water. Have a couple of friends or family members hold each corner of the paper towel. The bowl catches any excess water and prevents a mess.

    Add five teaspoons of water to the paper towel, and then start placing coins on top of it, one at a time. Place all of the water in the center of the towel.

    Add quarters to the paper towel until it breaks. Record the number of coins on your data sheet. Once you have done this with all of the paper towels, you can rank them from strongest to weakest. Add quarters one at a time.

    Write a report that uses the question, “Which brand of paper towels is the strongest when wet?” Describe the goals of your project, what occurred during your experiment, and the conclusions you drew. Your hypothesis can be an educated guess based on personal experience or advertising. For instance, if one brand of paper towel advertises itself as the strongest, your hypothesis could read, "Brand X is the strongest wet paper towel."

    Create a backboard that has some examples of the paper towels, pictures from the experiment, and the most important parts of the report, like hypothesis, conclusion, and important data, such as the number of quarters each brand handled. (Your chart will work well here.) Use this backboard as a visual aid when describing your project.

    Things You'll Need

    • 3-5 paper towel brands
    • Jar of quarters or pennies
    • Bowl
    • Teaspoon
    • Eye dropper
    • Scissors
    • 2 friends, classmates or family members