Paper Cover Up

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In this activity on page 11 of the PDF, learners use candle wax to make "invisible" designs that are revealed with watercolor paints. Use this activity to demonstrate why dentists coat the tops of our back teeth with a special type of plastic sealant.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Paper towels
  • White candle (birthday candle or small taper)
  • Sheet of white paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup of water
  • Watercolor paints (dark colors work best)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Office of Community Activities, American Chemical Society


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2004