Recycle Your Own Paper!

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In this activity (page 2 of PDF under GPS: Garbology Activity), learners will prepare sheets of homemade recycled paper from several different source pulps. Once dry, each sample will be drawn on with a marker to test how far ink spreads in the fibers of the different kinds of papers. Relates to the linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Garbology.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • papermaking equipment (mold and deckle, blender, tub, sponge, felt)
  • used paper, either office paper or newsprint
  • blank office paper
  • kitchen paper towel, or other paper towel
  • liquid laundry starch
  • cornstarch
  • marker pens, various brands, wide tip
  • rulers


  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


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
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429