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Quite Amazing!

After a fun-filled summer at camp in Maine, Amy is back in school. She's ready to take over the science lab once again and perform some quite amazing experiments. She specializes in discrepant events. Watch and try to predict what will happen. Expect to be quite amazed.

This month, Amy tests the strength of ordinary newspaper.

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SuperNewsPaper!

Materials
A thin board (such as a meter stick)
A few (3-5) sheets of newspaper
safety glasses

Procedure
NOTE: Please exercise caution. An adult should be present during this experiment. If the board is not hit quickly and firmly, the board may jump and injure the experimenter. If performed properly, there should be no pain to the hand.
1. Lay the thin board on a table so that one end of the board hangs over the edge of the table by about six to ten inches.
2. Open and spread the sheets of newspaper over the rest of the board on the table. Line the edge of the newspaper with the edge of the table.
3. Predict what will happen when you strike the board.
4. With your hand, strike a quick blow against the overhanging stick near the edge of the table.

Background

Never underestimate the strength of air pressure. If the newspapers have been carefully spread over the board, the air pressure above will hold the newspaper in place when the board is hit. When the board is hit, the part on the table under the newspaper starts to move up, creating a space with no air (vacuum). If the air cannot get under the paper fast enough to fill the vacuum, it exerts its pressure on the paper instead. This adds strength to the paper.

The real trick to this experiment is to make the strike against the board quick and firm. Otherwise, you'll find that the board jumps and merely moves the newspaper.


If you'd like, you can send a message to Amy.


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