Catlin Gabel School’s 5th Grade Science Students Test 8 Paper Towels For Absorbency, Cost Per Sheet And Strength

Send by email

Press Release

Jan 27, 2003

For Immediate Release

Contact: Langley Allbritton


Catlin Gabel School’s 5th Grade Science Students Test 8 Paper Towels For Absorbency, Cost Per Sheet And Strength

Students Report Findings; Write Letters To Manufacturers With Results And Recommendations

The Catlin Gabel School, dedicated to excellence in education, today announced its 5th grade science class reported Job Squad Paper Towels consistently scored best in absorbency and strength. After testing, graphing and ranking paper towels from Job Squad, Sparkle, Bounty, Scott, Viva, Brawny and Fred Meyer, the students wrote to each manufacturer. Their letters reported findings, which were supported by graphs, and provided recommendations for how the paper towels could be altered to gain a competitive advantage based on their research.

The experiment began with a comparison of price per sheet. The 5th graders then tested the towels for absorbency, pouring 10 ml of water on the paper towel and measuring the spread of the water in centimeters. The smaller the circle of water, the more water the paper towel could absorb. Job Squad had the smallest area of 139 cm2. From there, the students tested how much water each towel held by weighing the paper towel dry and then weighing it wet; subtracting the dry weight from the wet weight. Job Squad held the most amount of water at 29.9 grams.

The last test conducted was designed to establish the strength of the paper towel. This was determined by how many weights a paper towel could hold once it had been soaked in 15 grams of water. Once again, Job Squad’s score was the best at 3,600 grams.

To complete this exercise, 5th grade students then wrote to each paper towel manufacturer, providing them with their findings and recommendations for how to position their product given their market research. The students currently await responses from the manufacturers.

About Lower School Science

The Catlin Gabel lower school science program teaches children grades 1-5 to apply traditional science concepts to real world situations and problems, with an emphasis on identifying solutions and providing recommendations by cultivating and nurturing independent thinking.

About Catlin Gabel

Catlin Gabel School is an independent, co-educational day school, dedicated to student individuality, academic excellence, multiculturalism and life-long learning. The school’s dynamic pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade curriculum combines academics with arts, physical education and a strong sense of community service. Catlin Gabel is independently governed by a Board of Trustees and is not supported by tax or church monies. For more information, please visit