Name: ___________________________________ Date: ________________________ Period:__________
Diaper Dissection Lab (Also know as: “Hey, there are polymers up my shorts!”)
Objective (Purpose): Students will:
- investigate the many uses and properties of polymers.
-perform an experiment to determine which brand (store brand or name brand) of super
absorbing diaper holds more tap water.
Materials: per group (each person will be handing in their own lab)
-2 100 mL graduated cylinders
-name brand diaper
-store brand diaper
Hypothesis: I think that the ______________________________ brand of diaper will be more absorbent.
1. Split up your group and decide who is going to experiment on which diaper.
2. Take the diaper assigned to you, put it on the tray, and open it up.
3. Fill the 100 mL graduated cylinder with water.
4. Pour the water back and forth over the diaper in an even stream.
5. Observe the water absorption of the diaper to make sure all of it was absorbed.
6. In the data table on the next page, record how much water you poured into the diaper.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 until the diaper no longer absorbs the water and starts to leak. It is considered a leak if
water collects between the lining and the elastic. NOTE: when the diaper starts becoming saturated you should
start to use less than 100 mL of water at a time.
8. Calculate the total amount of water that the diaper was able to absorb before it started to leak.
9. Share your results with a group that used the other brand of diaper and record them onto your table.
10. After you finish your lab, you must type up a lab report by following the guidelines you were provided.
Data and observations (Results):
1. When you poured the first cylinders of water onto the diaper, how quickly was it absorbed?
2. When you poured the first cylinders of water onto the diaper, was the part of the diaper that touches the baby
wet or dry?
My diaper brand: mL of water The other diaper mL of water
________________ absorbed brand: ___________ absorbed
Pour #1 Pour #1
Pour #2 Pour #2
Pour #3 Pour #3
Pour #4 Pour #4
Pour #5 Pour #5
Pour #6 Pour #6
Pour #7 Pour #7
Pour #8 Pour #8
Pour #9 Pour #9
Pour #10 Pour #10
Pour #11 Pour #11
Pour #12 Pour #12
Pour #13 Pour #13
Pour #14 Pour #14
Pour #15 Pour #15
Pour #16 Pour #16
Pour #17 Pour #17
Pour #18 Pour #18
Pour #19 Pour #19
Pour #20 Pour #20
Total mL: Total mL:
1. Which brand of diaper, the expensive name brand or the cheaper store brand, held more water?
2. Why do you think diapers sometimes leak?
3. Do you think urine in a diaper (instead of water) would make a difference in absorption? Why or why not?
4. How are disposable diapers able to absorb so much water?
5. What is sodium polyacrylate? What is its job in a diaper?
Conclusion: See your notes on how to write a laboratory conclusion