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Int1 Task 3

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INT1 Task 3
Do more expensive paper towels absorb more water than less expensive products?
By: Gregory M. Herrin
Project design Plan
When consumers are in the store to purchase paper towels, there are numerous options and brands to choose from; all claiming to be the best product with the most absorbency.
How does a consumer choose the best option for the best price? The goal of this experiment will be to determine if higher priced paper towels are more absorbent than the less expensive paper towels on the market. Four relatively common brands will be tested for their water absorbency: Viva ($0.049/square foot), Bounty ($0.046/square foot),
Brawny ($0.044/square foot) and Sparkle ($0.024/square foot). Ultimately, the experiment should show which of the commonly used household paper towels is more water absorbent and if price equals value for these products.
Literature Review
A number of experiments have been completed to demonstrate and/or test the absorbency of paper towels.
Len Penzo dot Com, a personal finance blog, completed an experiment on which brand of paper towel was the best value. They tested six different brands of paper towels for absorbency and scrub strength: Sparkle, Bounty, Bounty Basic, Scott, Shoppers Value,
Viva and Kirkland Signature. To measure the absorbency, the paper towels were dipped into glasses of water until saturated and then the water squeezed from the towels was measured. To measure the scrub strength, the towels were wrapped around a sponge and then scrubbed on a laminate counter-top; with the number of scrubs counted before the paper was torn. Three tests were completed for each brand and the averaged. The towels were then rated by cost, absorbency and scrub strength. The experiment found that not one brand excelled across all categories; however, the Kirkland Signature and the Scott brand were the best overall value. Bounty was found to be the most absorbent and Scott brand was found to be the most durable (Penzo, 2010).
Bashaer Alkhafaji, a student of the University of Michigan – Dearborn, conducted an experiment in 2010 on the absorbency of paper towels. He tested three brands of paper towels for absorbency: Bounty, Magic Soft and Viva. Three sets of data were taken for each brand. He soaked the paper towels in 100 ml of water for 1 minute. He then measured the amount of absorbed water in a test tube. This experiment found that Viva was the most absorbent of the three brands of paper towels (Bashaer, 2010).
In this experiment, four brands of paper towels will be tested for absorbency.

Experimental Design Steps
The four brands of paper towels will be tested for absorbency as follows:
1. Four equally sized sheets of paper towels for each brand will be used for four data sets
a. Each sheet will be measured and cut to 27.9 cm X 26.4 cm or 736.56 cm² or 114.17 in² or 0.79 ft²
2. Each sheet (four for each brand and 16 in total) will be submerged in a beaker containing 200 ml of water for 30 seconds
a. A beaker will be used for accuracy in water level
b. A stop watch will be used for accuracy of time submerged
3. Each sheet will then be wringed out into a graduated cylinder
4. The amount of water in ml will be recorded for each sheet
5. The results will be recorded and analyzed
Reasoning
The design steps laid out above were chosen for simplicity, time and available resources.
Considering the typical household’s use of paper towels, testing absorbency with water seemed to be both convenient and appropriate. The sheets were measured and cut to the same size to control the results and limit errors. 200 ml of water was used, as this amount of water seemed to be more than enough for the paper towels to be submerged and saturated with water. 30 seconds seemed to be plenty of time for the paper towels to reach full saturation and for consistency in the experiment. While wringing out the paper towels by hand may have resulted in some lost water for the final recordation of data, this method was used due to necessity and was consistent with all data sets.
Sequence of Events
The absorbency of the paper towels will be measured in the number of ml wringed out of a saturated sheet.
1. Each paper towel is measured to the same size of 0.79 ft²
2. Each towel is submerged in 200 ml of water
3. Each towel is submerged for 30 seconds
4. Each towel is then wrung out into a graduated cylinder
5. The ml’s in the graduated cylinder are recorded for each paper towel
6. The four data sets are then averaged and compared
7. Results are then recorded and visualized in graph form
Tools and Technologies
Four brands of paper towels
1. Viva
2. Bounty
3. Brawny
4. Sparkle
Graduated cylinder
 To measure the amount of water absorbed
Beaker
 To measure the amount of water to be absorbed

Ruler


To measure the size of the paper towel sheets



To cut the paper towel sheets

Scissors
Water
 To be absorbed and measured
Pencil & Paper
 To record the results
Laptop
 To analyze the results
Stop Watch
 To measure time submerged
Variables
Independent variable – The paper towel brand
Dependent variable – ml’s of water absorbed
Controlled variables – Size of the paper towel sheets, the amount of water for the towels to be submerged in and the amount of time the towels are submerged
Threat reduction to internal validity
By making every sheet used in the experiment for all data sets the same size; the author minimized the risk of invalid results that could have occurred by some sheets having more material for absorption than others. By using 200 ml of water for each sheet to be submerged, the author provided consistency for each paper towel in the experiment.
Using a stop watch to calculate 30 seconds of time submerged also provided consistency and limited the risk of invalid results that may have resulted from towels having more time to absorb water than others. By using a graduated cylinder on a flat and level surface, the author was able to accurately measure the absorbed water consistently for all of the towels in the data sets.
Hypothesis
The hypothesis of this experiment is that Bounty brand of paper towels are more absorbent than Viva, Brawny and Sparkle brands of paper towels. This hypothesis is based on the author’s experience using paper towels and the advertising of Bounty that it is “2x more absorbent”.
Process of Data Collection
For each paper towel, after saturation for 30 seconds, the towels were wringed into a graduated cylinder for measurement. While some of the water may have been lost by doing this by hand, this was the only viable way to measure the water and was done consistently across all data sets. Once all of the water had been thoroughly wringed from the towels into the graduated cylinder, as evidenced by the towels being dry, the amount

of water in the graduated cylinder was measured on a flat, level surface and recorded onto a sheet of paper. This process was completed four times for each brand of paper towel, resulting in 16 data points for the 4 sets of data.
Data table: Amount of water absorbed and collected in the graduated cylinder.
Brands
Viva
Bounty
Brawny
Sparkle

Trail 1

Trail 2
42
45
34
24

Trail 3
45
46
38
26

Trail 4
44
40
32
29

43
44
34
25

Average
44
44
35
26

The data was collected and put into the chart above. Then that data was averaged over the four trails. The data was then organized in chart form for visual analysis.
Appropriate Methods
Considering that the paper towels were able to become completely saturated, the use of
200 ml for submersion appears to have been appropriate. The use of 30 seconds of submersion appears to have been appropriate considering that the paper towels were completely saturated after the 30 seconds of submersion. The ranges of values over the four trails would indicate that the method of wringing the water into the graduated cylinder may not have been the most accurate method for collecting the saturated water for measurement; however, considering that the same method was used across all data sets and the ultimate purpose of the experiment was in comparison, this method should still result in relatively accurate results.
Results
Paper Towel Absorbency
50
45

45

45

46
44

43

42
40

40

35

44

38
34

34
32
29

30

ml

26

25

24

25

20

15

10

5

0
Trail 1

Trail 2

Trail 3

Trail 4

Viva
Bounty
Brawny
Sparkle

Average
50
45

44

44

40

35

35

ml

30

26

25

Average

20
15
10
5
0
Viva

Bounty

Brawny

Sparkle

The graphs above show that Viva and Bounty out performed Brawny and Sparkle in absorbency. Across all trails Sparkle absorbed between 24 and 29 ml of water with an average of 26 ml, Brawny absorbed between 32 and 38 ml of water with an average of 35 ml, Bounty absorbed between 40 and 46 ml of water with an average of 44 ml and Viva absorbed between 42 and 45 ml of water with an average of 44 ml. While Bounty had the highest of all absorbency in one of the trails, Viva appears to have had the most consistent absorbency across the four trails. This consistency could be a result of manufacturing differences or be caused by the aforementioned extraction method.
Conclusion
Confirmation of Hypothesis
The results shown above confirm the hypothesis that more expensive paper towel brands absorb more water than less expensive products. While Viva is the most expensive brand, in $/ft², Bounty on average absorbed 0.25 ml more and would be better value for the money. Brawny and Sparkle, both being much less expensive than Viva and Bounty, performed substantially less well, as was hypothesized.
Experimental Design as a Key Factor
Experimental design is extremely important in gaining credible results. Experiments that are designed well should test only one independent variable, as this will enable one to accurately measure then results of any given experiment. It is important to make sure that the dependent variables can be accurately measure and the proper tools are available for use in the experiment. Controlling as many variables as possible will minimize error and limit the risk to the overall results. The more accurate and controlled an experiment, the more valid the results will be.
Replication
This experiment is very simple and should be very easy to replicate. In the replication of this experiment, consistency is key. Having the exact same size paper towels for each trail will ensure consistency between the independent variables. Using the same water

source will minimize the risk of different elements in the water that could change the results. Using the same amount of water for absorption is important in keeping with the theme of consistency throughout. Using the same amount of time for submersion will ensure that all of the paper towels have the same amount of time for saturation. The use of a graduated cylinder for collecting the absorbed water is one of the most effective ways to measure the absorbed water.
Evaluation of Validity
Being able to replicate an experiment and the results will provide validity to the results.
When experiments are replicated and the results are also replicated, then the results of the first experiment gain more credence. It would be possible for experiments to take place that come to different conclusions; however, it could be a result of the methods used and how well the controlled variables were actually controlled. The results of an experiment will also be called into question if the results can not be consistently replicated.

Sources
Penzo, L. (2010, April 28). Len Penzo dot The Great Paper Towel Test: What Brand Is
Your Best Value?Com. Len Penzo dot Com. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from http://lenpenzo.com/blog/ Alkhafaji, B. (2010). Experimental Design. Presented University of MichiganDearborn, Dearborn, MI…...

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...Roll of 27 1/2 cm X 23 1/2 cm paper towel | 1 | Container of nitric acid | 1 | Pyrex measuring glass | 5 | Glass canning jars ( 1 Quart) |   PROCEDURES 1. Take two 27 1/2 X 23 1/2 cm paper towels and tear at perforated line. 2. Tear one sheet of plastic wrap that is 29 1/2 X 23 1/2 cm. 3. Count and separate seeds into 5 groups of. 4. Lightly dampen the two paper towels. 5. Sure that they are both wet to the touch. 6. Place the 75 seeds in a horizontal line on the skinny sides on one paper towel. 7. Roll the paper towel up with the seeds in it. 8. Get two strips of tape 3 centimeters long. 9. Take the other paper towel and wrap it up around the other paper towel with the seeds in it. 10. Take the sheet of plastic wrap and you wrap it around the paper towels. 11. Pull the plastic up about an inch leaving one inch of paper towel without plastic on it at the bottom. 12. Fold the excess at the top over the top of the paper towel. 13. Tape the plastic to the other side of the plastic so it doesn't unravel 14. Set the paper towel roll inside the first glass and label Trial 1 15. Repeat steps 1-14, 4 more times, and label glasses as: Trial 2, Trial 3, etc. 16. Measure 6oz of water and place in each glass 17. For one of the containers put 0 ml. of nitric acid in the water, put 2ml. in the second one, put 4 ml. in the third one, put 6 ml in the fourth one and 8 ml in the last one. 18. Wait 7 days with the paper towel roll in the carton at......

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Int1 Task 1

...INT1 Task 1 Western Governors University We all easily recognize beer and wine and many of us consume these products in a responsible manner. What most people don’t recognize is the science that goes into the making of adult, alcoholic beverages and the history of the ‘behind the scenes’ science that goes into making these products. Scientific knowledge grows at an exponential rate, and nowhere is this more evident than in the historical milestones of chemistry and biology that have shaped our understanding of the microorganisms that cause fermentation. The most important microorganism involved in brewing is yeast and yeast has been integral to pioneering work in the fields of metabolism and eznymology (Chambers & Pretorius, 2010). What we’ve learned and now understand about yeast: For several millennia man has used yeast for baking bread and making alcoholic beverages although before the microscope these people did not understand what yeast was or why it worked. In 1857 Louis Pasteur proved that fermentation was cause by living organisms, in this case the organisms were yeast (http://exploreyeast.com). Through Pasteur proving that yeast was a living organism mankind began to understand the carbon dioxide emitted by the yeast caused dough to rise. Pasteur proved that chemical reactions of yeast and sugar caused the formation of alcohol (http://allaboutscience.org/louis-pasteur-faq.htm). Through genetic modification, yeast used to make wine can now be engineered......

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